Jan 16, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has announced that it’ll overhaul its Baroque and Rococo galleries to let in more light and better install 1,100 gems from its collection — including items designed for Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great and Napoleon.

The museum says the new galleries would demonstrate how “Europeans systematically explored, exploited and collected resources from Africa, Asia and the Americas as part of an increasingly global cultural market.”

The renovation is expected to be completed in December.

After the renovation of its Medieval and Renaissance galleries, which re-opened in 2009, the overhaul of the Europe 1600-1800 galleries comes as part of a vast transformation of the museum.

Since the museum made its admission free in 2001, except for special exhibitions, the number of visitors has tripled — hitting a record of 3.3 million in 2013.

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