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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 18:15 GMT 19:15 UK
City streets host art exhibition
A man stops to look at a painting on display
The unique exhibition will display 30 masterpieces
London's streets have been transformed into an art gallery with masterpieces by artists like Caravaggio and Rembrandt hanging from the walls.

The Grand Tour by the National Gallery will showcase 30 paintings which are full size reproductions from the gallery's permanent collection.

The art pieces have been hung on unusual locations including the wall of a sex shop in Soho, central London.

The paintings in replica frames will be on display for 12 weeks.

Each picture comes with a plaque, like in the gallery, explaining the painting and giving information about the artist.

Spectators can also call a number listed in the plaques to access a specially recorded audio guide on the art piece.

The idea for the Grand Tour came from the trend among the upper-class in the 17th century who undertook long journeys across Europe, which lasted months, to gain cultural enlightenment.

National Gallery Director Charles Saumarez Smith said the unique exhibition is aimed at bringing "art into the local community and to encourage new audiences to be aware of the great works of art to be seen in London."




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