A Peek Inside The Louvre’s Secret Replica Warehouse

The Atelier de Moulage de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux is not precisely a secret. Except for the fact that you’ve probably never heard of it.

The Musée du Louvre stores countless sculptures, prints, and artworks that need to be preserved for generations to come. But sometimes just preserving them isn’t quite enough. The Atelier is where the Louvre sends its art to be replicated. This is where models used in art school are made, where the wealthy and in-the-know shop for mythological decor, and where the miniature statues of the Venus de Milo sold in the Louvre’s gift shop come from.

“Above all,” says the workshop’s head, Thomas Lefeuvre, “the Atelier is concerned with education. The preservation of these sculptures’ artistry.” Replicas like these were crucial to artists like Rodin and Delacroix, who may not have had the opportunity to travel to Greece or Rome to work with ancient sculptures in the flesh, and the idea is that these resources will be available for future artists and historians to study these masterpieces.

But don’t take it from us. Anyone can visit, just check out the details here.