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Friday, April 23, 2010

Petit Louvre stresses art education for kids, which is no small feat

Staff writer

Volcanic ash might have put the kibosh on the family trip to Europe, but a piece of Paris awaits you in Nagano Prefecture.

Petit Louvre in Karuizawa is curated by the Mercian Karuizawa Museum with paintings by Hubert Robert and Philibert-Louis Debucourt sent from the actual Louvre in Paris.

The museum isn't a miniature version of its Parisian counterpart, the "petit" in this Louvre stands for little children. The aim of the exhibition is to introduce the fine arts to your young ones.

The Louvre's famous collection of paintings and sculptures have been digitally remade and sized to suit the eye levels of people around 120 cm tall. Kiyofumi Nakajima of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, first started the Petit Louvre exhibition in 2008. He says that starting this exhibition in Japan was a way to introduce the art in a child-friendly environment, where young viewers can roam as they please and even touch the works.

Petit Louvre runs till Oct. 24. The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but is closed on Tuesday. Admission is ¥1,000. On May 5 (Children's Day), children can enter for free. For more information call 0267-32-0288 or visit www. mercian.co.jp/musee

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