Venus de Milo stands alone - unguarded

The theft of the ``Potrait of Jean Dorieu,'' by Robert Nanteuil, from the Louvre (Events, July 12) is hardly a surprise. Guards seem disinterested in or overwhelmed by the droves of people who fill the beautiful galleries daily. The Venus de Milo in her circle gallery is amazingly left alone to the public. When I visited, the only time the guards showed any energy was when they were herding us out of the building at closing time.

The sole reason one goes to the Louvre is to see the most perfected art collection in the world. But at the same time, there is much more at the Louvre - book, print, and poster shops, eating places, boutiques, and the Metro entrance with its shops, information, tickets, and busy restrooms.

Unfortunately, the Louvre has succumbed to the prevailing trend of hiring consultants and architects who create billion-dollar, nonfunctional fantasies. The museum's main purpose is to protect and display the incomparable art that visitors come from around the world to see. Surely, with all of the superelectronic technology availble today, it could be made impossible to steal an art treasure without sounding alarms. Crystal Ragsdale, New Braunfels, Texas

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