The Louvre Museum was established in the 16th century as the private collection of the French Kingdom. The collection grew steadily thanks to donations and purchases by the french kings. In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Louvre became a national art museum and the private royal collection opened to the public.
The museum has a collection of over 1 million works of art, spread out over three wings of the former palace. Its departments now include Oriental (ancient Mesopotamian), Greek and Roman, and Egyptian antiquities; sculpture from the Middle Ages to modern times; furniture and objets d'art; and European paintings and drawings. When the Musee d'Orsay was created in 1986, most of the post 1848 works left the Louvre and were transferred to the new Musuem which is close by.
Some of the most famous works of art in the museum are the Venus of Milo, the Nike of Samothrake, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo and of course Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.