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Talented Copyists Go to the Louvre to Re-Create a Famous Masterpiece Every Year

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There’s nothing wrong with copying a famous piece of art, unless you are trying to sell it as an original. Aknowledging the original arist and trying to copy his artworks in an effort to show your abilities is a respected practise that even the Louvre allows. Every year, many artists spend hours and hours inside the Louvre trying to copy a famous painting that they like the most. Their efforts take time to finally complete and the result is sometimes uncanny.

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Each year 250 permits to amateur and professional artists are granted so that they can copy their favorite painting.

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This is a tradition that dates back to the period right after the French revolution and is still carried until this day.

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French photojournalist Ivan Guilbert was granted permission to spend three days inside the Louvre to photograph the painters doing their job.

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Some artists have to stand in the list for two years in order to finally get the most wanted permit.

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The artists are allowed to work on the paintings for up to three months from 9:30am to 1:30pm from September to June except Saturdays and holidays.

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The canvases must be one-fifth smaller or larger than the original and the signature of the original artists shouldn’t be copied.

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Each day, every painting is carefully inspected to make sure that the rules are being followed.

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When the paintings are finished and checked for meeting the rules against forgery, they get the Louvre’s stamp and the artists can leave with their painting in hand.

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Ivan Guilbert said that he was truly stunned by the patience of the artists, who worked there, since there are so many people around them walking and talking and staring at them. They have to close their ears on what others comment on their work and fully concentrate on their work, something that seems extremely hard for most of us.

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