On this day in … 1793

The Louvre opens as a museum. In a hugely symbolic act, the leaders of the French Revolution open the doors of the former royal palace to the people.

This started a precedent, with the State Hermitage opening up in St. Petersburg after the Russian Revolution and Beijing’s Forbidden City following the communist takeover of China.

Today, the Louvre is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of art. It is also the world’s most visited museum, with 9.3 million visitors last year.

Cour Carrée (Square courtyard) of Museum of Louvre, at dusk By Benh LIEU SONG (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons