I am the architect responsible for monuments in France. As curator for the Museum and the Tuileries I lend support to all maintenance and restoration projects as well as provide recommendations and inspections. The Louvre is one of the world's largest and most beautiful museums and is a reflection of French architecture.
From our standpoint, we reminded the designers that the focus of this project was our perception of the Louvre by night, which isn't necessarily the same as by day. The concept when illuminating a monument by night isn't necessarily to allow viewers to see what they see by day, but to emphasise its sculptural elements, the cornices and architectural embellishments. The idea was to take a fitting approach so that the lighting units appeared as unobtrusive as possible during the day, echoing the existing horizontal architectural lines, but where all the magical effect would emerge at night.
Utilising the latest technology provided by Toshiba facilitated a change in the way we perceive things. The advantage of the latest technology is that it allows for a certain amount of flexibility and adaptability in the quantity and warmth of illumination provided. Therefore, the tests were rather conclusive. In addition, for the Louvre, it is already clear that the advantage is a purely economic one; that of electrical power consumption. This is an issue that is common to the majority of historical monuments, particularly in Paris, where the state and the city are trying to halve energy consumption through technological means.
Regarding the issue of the monument's presentation, the overall feeling is that Toshiba has succeeded admirably in adapting its illumination as finely as possible to one of the most beautiful historical monuments we have in France, and in Paris in particular, one which in a sense acts as a model. We consider that what Toshiba has accomplished here could be applied to other monuments as well.