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Discover 6 Paris-based museums freshly renovated

Musée Carnavalet © Jean-Baptiste Gurliat / Ville de Paris

On May 19th, after months of lockdown and restrictions on cultural and artistic spaces, museums in France finally reopened. Although they are still subjected to sanitary restrictions, some of them located in Paris have acquired a whole new look, undergoing revamps in the past years and months. Others have opened for the first time! They are now ready to welcome the public, that has been patiently waiting to finally attend exhibitions, and appreciate the work that has been done in their absence. 

Reopenings: restorations and revamps

Some museums have been undergoing renovation for a few years already, such as the Musée Carnavalet, the oldest museum in Paris, which has been under intense construction for the past four years. The museum is dedicated to the history of Paris and Parisians, and the upcoming exhibition (June 15) will focus on the life and work of photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (Henri Cartier-Bresson - Revoir Paris). On the complex site, this work has allowed restoring both buildings which compose the museum (Carnavalet and Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau) but also rethink the museographic displays. The 3800 artworks on show have also been restored, a majority of them had been kept in the museum's storage until now.

4 years is also the time it took to restore the Hôtel de la Marine, which had been inaccessible to the public for over two centuries. Built during the 18th century, it originally served to host the institution in charge of the storage and restoration of royal furniture, and was then used by the French Naval staff after the French Revolution. The restoration allowed the removal of 18 layers of paint, to find the original paint intact and unveil the beauty of the Hôtel in the 18th century. Authentic furniture has been retrieved, and the public will be able to walk around rooms where history was made and witness the traces of the theft of the Crown jewels in 1792. 

The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris is also reopening, after 21 months of construction work. The furniture and 2000 artworks exhibited have been restored, and the museum is expanding, adding a library and café for the public's enjoyment. The museum is a true "cabinet de curiosités," inviting curious visitors to wander in an oniric setting, where nature and contemporary art meet. It opens new perspectives on the place of man in nature and generates new reflections with its original collections. 

Previously shut since April 2019, the Maison de Victor Hugolocated Place des Vosges in Paris just reopened as well with expanded spaces, restored collections and new acquisitions. It now includes a garden, with a replica of the snake-adorned fountain that Hugo purchased before his exile from France. The opening exhibition, Victor Hugo. Dessins (June 10 to November 21) will show around 300 fragile drawings by Victor Hugo

Openings: new exhibition spaces

New spaces are also opening for the first time! We covered the opening of two new foundations, Fondation Pernod-Ricard and Collection Pinault at Bourse de Commerce in an article here

The Loire region is unveiling a brand new modern art collection in a medieval abbey: the Fontevraud Modern Art Museum is housed in a 12th-century monastery's former stables. The collections come from collectors Martine and Léon Clingman's major donation of over 500 artworks, which includes paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Robert Delaunay, and sculptures by Edgar Degas, as well as artifacts from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas. 

Finally, the Ile-de-France Frac (Regional fund for contemporary art) unveiled its new site in Romainville. In the heart of a hub for contemporary art, "Les Réserves" will allow the public, through an online platform, to choose the artworks on show among the larger collection. Every three weeks, works will be drawn from the public's choice, and be taken out of storage for display. The opening exhibition, Children Power, is composed of portraits chosen by the children of Romainville around the theme of childhood.   

 

 

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