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Following the Egyptian campaign of 1798–1801, Napoléon appointed the museum's first director, Dominique Vivant Denon.
In tribute, the museum was renamed the "Musée Napoléon" in 1803, and acquisitions were made of Spanish, Austrian, Dutch, and Italian works, either as spoils or through treaties such as the Treaty of Tolentino.
By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection.
On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace.
In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style..
Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum.
Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings.
Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres (782,910 square feet).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II.