Anyone who's been to France knows how protective the French are when it comes to their culture heritage. So when it was announced that Chinese born I.M. Pei was going to spearhead the restoration of the Louvre plenty of French knickers got twisted well out of shape. And when Pei unveiled his plan to place an enormous glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre to serve as the new main entrance the 3-drinks-before-work set in cafes all over the French capital had their "I told you so!" moment and the firestorm was officially underway. Pei, to his credit, handled the criticism both subtle and gross with aplomb. He began to win over the citizens of Paris when he placed a scale model of the proposed pyramid in the Louvre courtyard and invited the public to come take a look. Tens of thousands of Parisians did just that and shortly afterward opposition to his design, and indeed to Pei himself, began to dissipate.

By the time Pei's grand pyramid opened in March of 1989 more than 50% of the Parisian populace said they approved of his design and the pyramid has gone on to be one of those places/things in Paris any visitor must see.

I.M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid at night. Unexpectedly dazzling.