So Dark the Disappointment of Man

The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are the two most disappointing tourist destinations in the world, according to this poll.

I can see why the reportedly glacially slow process of ascending the Tower might detract from some tourists’ enjoyment, though I don’t think it would from mine (I’ve been to it but not yet up it).

Louvre galleryBut the Louvre? How could anyone possibly be disappointed by the Louvre?

My guess? These tourists march in to see the Mona Lisa, find a smaller-than-expected painting behind plexiglass and obscured by a clot of viewers, are disappointed by that, and march out without seeing much else.

6 Responses to So Dark the Disappointment of Man

  1. Anon2 August 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    I just can’t resist…..

    Who owns the Mona Lisa? Answer: The PEOPLE own the Mona Lisa.

  2. pendragon August 19, 2007 at 9:01 pm #

    c’est fou. i think senses are dulled by too much intense entertainment, and subtle pleasures are lost. there’s no throbbing sound-track in real life, that’s the reason for the disappointment.

  3. Sergio Méndez August 20, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    The problem with the Louvre is that is too big. So people go without a plan, and don´t know what to see…and at the end, they don´t end seeing anything. When you go to the Louvre you must have a plan, what parts of the museums you are going to visit

  4. Andy Stedman August 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    I’ve been to and enjoyed both. I wanted another day or two at the Louvre.

  5. Daniel J. D'Amico August 21, 2007 at 2:51 pm #


    You should definitely read the chapter in Tyler Cowen’s new book on being a consumer of culture. He gives insightful sollutions to how to overcome this disappointing results from large museums and attractions that invoke perceptive overload.


  6. Eric H August 24, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    The Eiffel Tower line was too long. However, I enjoyed interacting with people underneath and in the park. The Louvre was too hard to pronounce.

    No, seriously, TL was very enjoyable even though I started to get a low blood sugar headache after about 9 hours. Two things helped: first, I bought a museum pass and walked right in through the side entrance, no line. Second, I skipped through uninteresting stuff quickly and tried to find something that I could look at in detail. Dutch masters! Stolen artifacts!

    That second category was something that occurred to me while I was there: the most famous museum in the world, in the land of the most cosmopolitan people in the world, is based largely on artifacts stolen from colonies in Asia and Africa.

    The Mona Lisa is/was a complete waste of time. You’re going to learn far more about it on the internet or in books than you will in person. It is really unremarkable, famous for being famous, like Paris Hilton.

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