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The Winged victory of Samothrace, one of the most famed statues in ~ the, graces the top of the huge Daru staircase. This spectacular setup was very closely chosen to showcase the masterpiece the Greek Hellenistic art. Old sculpture meets modern architecture in among the most emblematic clues of the museum.

The goddess the Victory

She appears to float with the air! The Winged win of Samothrace is just one of the rare Greek statues whose specific original place is known. It to be made together an offering to the gods for a sanctuary top top the Greek island that Samothrace. Put at a height, human being could see her indigenous afar. That is why, in a nod come her initial lofty home, she now adorns the height of the Daru staircase. Nike, the winged goddess who heralds victory, is seen just as she is around to alight top top a ship.

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A monumental staircase

The Daru staircase is the perfect setting for this especially display. It is just one of six grand staircases constructed during the 2nd Empire in the 19th century by the architect Hector Lefuel.

During the 1850s and also 1860s, significant works were underway to expand the and make it more modern. The former palace had already been partially transformed right into a museum. The emperor Napoleon III had actually a new wing developed to make much more room to showcase an ext art. The old staircase developed by his uncle Napoleon ns was no longer adequate to access all the galleries. The just things left from the time room the ceilings leading to the Italian paint collections and the surname Daru, a minister under Napoleon I.

Hector Lefuel took up the difficulty to architecture a brand-new monumental space on 3 levels top in four different directions. Tourists could choose themselves which method to walk!

The Winged win of Samothrace was put in her new home ~ above the top landing in 1883, some 20 years after the statue to be discovered.

The Winged victory of Samothrace Room 703 (Daru staircase), Denon wing, Level 1

Did you know?

Escalier Daru vue sur la Victoire de Samothrace en 1932

An exceptional exploration

The famous statue of success bears the name of the Greek island of Samothrace – situated in the Aegean Sea – wherein she was discovered in 1863 through Charles Champoiseau. What a find! The statue is breathtaking, however broken and also incomplete. Part 110 pieces were unearthed, but there was no authorize of her head or her arms. Charles Champoiseau went back to Samothrace in 1879 come look for them, but in vain. This second dig succumbed the plinth and also the prow of the delivery that served as a base because that the statue. The wings, only partially retrieved, were revitalized with plaster to to fill in the blanks so the Victory might get earlier her original looks. The statue has been restored several times and also has been changing form ever since she was found!

An providing to the gods

The statue, made of marble from Paros (one of the finest marbles of Greece), represents the goddess the Victory around to alight ~ above a delivery whose sailors have actually just won a sea battle. It probably days to 190 BC and was i was delegated to celebrate that victory. The winners, perhaps the inhabitants of the island that Rhodes, erected it in Samothrace to give thanks to the great Gods the the island, the Cabeiri, that were worshipped throughout the Greek world.