Criminals invade our hotel by ert634

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									   Jerry and MacLeod just
   had to unveil a copy of the
   Chronicle in the courtyard
   of the Musée du Louvre                                      TraveliN’
                                                                raveli              WITH THE CHRONICLE
                                                                     B18 Lexington County Chronicle & The Dispatch-News                                      Thursday, August 27, 2009




                                            Criminals invade our hotel
MacLeod and Jerry Bellune traveled to France in                                                                                                                                          of the Seine.
September 2002 for MacLeod’s high school reunion                                                                                                                                           The museum is housed in the Louvre Pal-
in Verdun.                                                                                                                                                                               ace which was first built as a fortress in the
                                                                                                                                                                                         12th century. The building was extended
                                    PARIS, France                                                                                                                                        many times to form the present palace.
   Last week we told you about our encoun-                                                                                                                                                 In 1672, Louis XIV moved to the Palace of
ters with pickpockets in the Metro.                                                                                                                                                      Versailles south of Paris, leaving the Louvre
   Here is an additional warning to you if you                                                                                                                                           primarily as a place to display the royal col-
are going to France. Pickpockets and thieves                                                                                                                                             lection of sculpture and paintings.
even invade the hotels to relieve unsuspect-                                                                                                                                               During the French Revolution, the National
ing tourists of their valuables.                                                                                                                                                         Assembly decided the Louvre would be a mu-
   When we came down for breakfast at our                                                                                                                                                seum for masterpieces.
hotel the next morning, Virginia Primer, one                                                                                                                                               The museum opened in 1793 with an exhi-
of MacLeod’s teachers who had joined us on                                                                                                                                               bition of 537 paintings. The majority were
this reunion trip, discovered that her wallet                                                                                                                                            confiscated church and royal property.
was missing from her handbag.                                                                                                                                                              The size of the collection increased under
   She went back to her room to see if she                                                                                                                                               Napoleon who confiscated them.
might have left it there but no luck.                                                                                                                                                      After his defeat at Waterloo, many works
   We helped her search the breakfast room, a                                                                                                                                            were returned to their original owners.
large, open room where everyone in the ho-                      A view of the Louvre.                                                   Inside the Louvre.
tel had breakfast. No wallet.                                                                                                                                                                         golf aNyoNe?
   It had $450 in it, Virginia said.                            have been enjoying Paris.                                               ums and would not do it again if we had a
   Worse, it contained her passport.                              Crime victims lose more than money.                                   choice.                                             We found we should have hired a guide
   One lucky break. She still had her airline                     While Ro and Virginia were dealing with                                  We made the same mistake at the Uffizi in     and a golf cart to get around the museum’s
tickets back to the states.                                     the bureaucrats, we decided to make this a                              Florence, another great art museum.              652,300 square feet.
                                                                museum day. That meant the Louvre.                                         We probably missed out on a great experi-        We could have spent a week in the place
         Beware of crowds                                         We transferred our passports, plane tickets                           ence because half the time we knew little        and still not seen everything it had to offer.
                                                                and cash to our money belts, tied them                                  about what we were looking at.                      If you’re going to France, do your research
  Virginia remembered that the elevator had                     around our waists and under our clothing                                   Guides who are knowledgeable about the        and decide what you want to see.
been crowded with hotel guest when she                          and headed for the Metro.                                               works and the artists greatly enrich the expe-      You will particularly want to see the origi-
came down to breakfast.                                                                                                                 rience with memorable stories.                   nals of three of the world’s most famous la-
  Could the pickpocket have used that as                                 The self-guided Tour                                                                                            dies in art.
cover to swipe her wallet?                                                                                                                  NapoleoN The collecTor                          Two are sculptures — the armless Venus de
  Probably. We had already heard about an-                        We think guided tours gain in depth of un-                                                                             Milo and the headless Winged Victory (or Ni-
other guest who had been robbed.                                derstanding of the art work you see what you                              The Musée du Louvre is the most visited        ke) of Samothrace.
  Virginia and Ro Vasalaar went to the police                   lose in being able to wander where you want                             museum in the world.                                The third is probably the most famous of
station and reported the theft.                                 and spend as much time with any particular                                Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to       all, Leonardo da Vinci’s impenetrable paint-
  They then went to the U.S. Embassy to ob-                     piece of art.                                                           the 19th century are exhibited in its 652,300    ing of the smiling the Mona Lisa.
tain a duplicate passport for her.                                But we elected to take our own self-guided                            square feet. It is an awesome spectacle cover-
  This cost them both a half day they could                     tour of one of the world’s foremost art muse-                           ing four or five city blocks on the right bank   Next: The three great ladies.



                                                                                                                                           Scott Wilhide trusts the Chronicle
                                                                                                                                               with his local advertising




                                                                                                                                              Pictured from left to right: Scott Wilhide, Judy Levi, Harriett
                                                                                                                                                 Patrick, McNeal Blewer, Ashley Faris, Jackie Linemann


                                                                                                                                                   Ameris Bank is committed to the Lexington
                                                                                                                                             community and they subscribe to the Lexington County
                                                                                                                                             Chronicle for the Chronicle’s local flavor. They are very
                                                                                                                                                pleased with the response they have had to their
                                                                                                                                               Chronicle ads. The Chronicle is a great vehicle to
                                                                                                                                               reach potential customers in the local community.
                                                                                                                                                                                           — Scott Wilhide,
                                                                                                                                                                                           Lexington County President of Ameris Bank



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