Olympics-Parisians warm up for Olympics with workouts in Louvre museum

Members of staff of the Louvre Museum and agents of the Creteil choreographic center participate in a yoga class as part of the dress rehearsal of 'Run in the Louvre', a series of sports visits to the Louvre, halfway between a visit guided, dance and sports training designed by French choreographer Mehdi Kerkouche at the Louvre museum in Paris, France, April 23, 2024. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

PARIS (Reuters) - Parisians warmed up for the coming Olympics with a series of workouts inside the renowned Louvre Museum on Wednesday, part of a programme to meld sports and culture as the French capital girds to host the Summer Games.

Participants took part in four 10-minute sessions of various disciplines dubbed "Run in the Louvre" in four emblematic rooms of the world's most visited museum.

The project is one aspect of the Cultural Olympiad programme developed by the Paris 2024 organisers.

In the museum's Cour (hall) Marly, which features French sculptures that adorned 17th-century King Louis XIV's chateau in Marly, participants took part in a yoga lesson.

They then got a chance to learn dancehall, a Jamaican dance, amidst statues hailing back to the reign of ancient Assyrian King Sargon II in the Louvre's Cour Khorsabad.

Next up was disco in the Cour Caryatides, which features the former ballroom of 16th-century King Henry IV.

The workouts amid artworks ended with a cardio exercise at the foot of the walls of the Louvre's mediaeval castle.

In all, there will be 16 such sessions of up to 30 participants, arranged by French choreographer Mehdi Kerkouche, taking place from 8-9 a.m., before the museum opens to the general public, through May 31.

The Louvre Museum is the world's largest, drawing around 30,000 visitors daily and nearly 10 million per year.

The Olympic flame will be carried through the Louvre's halls on July 14, France's Bastille Day, and the museum will host in its outdoor spaces the Olympic cycling events on Aug. 3-4 as well as the marathon on Aug. 10-11.

(Reporting by Louise Dalmasso; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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