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From...
Computerworld

Louvre to launch online gift shop

February 16, 1999
Web posted at: 1:59 p.m. EST (1859 GMT)

by Kristi Essick
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PARIS (IDG) -- Thanks to a project led by the Reunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN), three famous French museums will soon open virtual boutiques on the Web.

RMN, which runs a chain of shops that sell postcards, posters, books and other souvenirs in museums across France, plans to open its first electronic-commerce boutique on the Louvre Web site starting March 1, officials at the organization said.

Shortly thereafter, RMN will open boutiques for the Château de Versailles and the Musée d'Orsay, each accessible through those museums' Web sites.

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The announcement was made at Milia, a trade show focusing on the multimedia and Internet content markets that took place in Cannes.

RMN also sponsors specific exhibits throughout France and plans to open electronic-commerce sites linked to these programs in the future, officials said. The organization is also looking at offering its services to museums outside of France that are interested in opening online stores.

Because most people haven't heard of RMN, the idea is to operate in the background of a museum's online presence, much as the company's physical stores operate within the museums, officials said.

The online Louvre boutique will open with more than 1,000 items for sale, according to information on the museum's site. Art lovers can expect to find items such as books, CD-ROMs, reproductions of art works and jewelry.

Kristi Essick is senior european correspondent for the IDG News Service in Paris.

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