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Google Earth Plug-in: Palace of the Legion of Honor (SF)

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From Wikipedia: The California Palace of the Legion of Honor (often abbreviated to simply Legion of Honor by locals) is a fine-art museum in San Francisco, California. The name is used both for the museum collection and for the building in which it is housed.

The building gets its name from the fact that it is a three-quarters scale imitation of the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur in Paris. The design was based on a model of the Hôtel de Salm that appeared at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition, so it is not an exact copy. It was given to the City of San Francisco by Alma de Brettville Le Normand-Spreckels.

During seismic retrofitting in the 1980s, coffins and parts of skeletons were found; the area around the building was a Potter's Field called the "Golden Gate Cemetery" that the City had bought in 1867.

The museum contains a representative collection of mainly European art. Its most distinguished collection is of sculpture by Rodin: casts of all his most famous statues are on display, including one of "The Thinker" in the forecourt. However there are individual works by many of the most important artists, including Rembrandt, Gainsborough, David, and many of the impressionists and post-impressionists - Degas, Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Seurat, Cézanne and others. There are also representative works by key twentieth century figures such as Braque and Picasso.

The museum building occupies a fine elevated site in Lincoln Park in the north-west of the city, with views over the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of today's Lincoln Park Golf Course is on the burial site that was closed in 1908 and the bodies supposedly were transferred to Colma.

The collection is managed by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which also manages the De Young museum, for which a new building is currently (2003) being erected in the Golden Gate Park.

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