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Since October 2008, The Louvre website (http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp) features a new host: Dominique-Vivant Denon. The first director of the museum has been brought back to life as an animated character! He has a multitude of stories to tell about the museum and its contents, together with anecdotes from his travels, and he’ll help both children and adults explore the Louvre Web site! He will also entice young and old into his workshop—an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and memories.

When on the Louvre’s home page, click on Dominique’s head (top right-hand corner) and he’ll pop up all over the place to give students some practical information, suggestions for the virtual visit, and facts and figures about the museum. His audio narration will tell  the kind of things people don’t usually tell you about the secret life of the artworks. Visitors will learn the full history of these artworks when you open the description pages. These histories are in a detailed written form.

Dominique’s workshop is full of clickable objects and creates an excellent interactive starting point for students. For instance, click on Dominique’s book: it’s full of amazing stories about the artworks. In the portfolio next to his writing desk, find the list of story-telling objects. There are always lots of things lying around in Dominique’s workshop to experiment with.

The Louvre’s collection covers Western art from the medieval period to 1848, formative works from the civilisations of the ancient world and works of Islamic art. Dominique narrates the history and aspects of some famous artworks which are contained in these collections. The collection is grouped into eight Departments, each shaped and defined by the activities of its curators, collectors and donors. These include Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings and Prints and Drawings.

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