The Bourse de Commerce building in Paris.
Art and culture

New Museums in Paris

December 02, 2021

From the Louvre to the Pompidou, Paris has long been home to a range of world-class museums and art galleries. Now its cultural life has become even richer, with the emergence of a handful of new and revamped museums to discover.
The front façade of Bourse de Commerce

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando has boldly transformed Paris’s former stock exchange in the heart of the city into a new museum for the Pinault Collection, now home to a unique collection of over 10,000 works by almost 400 artists from the 1960s to the present. Billionaire François Pinault dreamt of opening a museum for 20 years and his renowned collection includes modernist masterpieces by Mondrian and Rothko, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. There are some real gems on display, including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s ‘Vigil for a Horseman’ (2017) and Xinyi Cheng’s ‘Red Bonnet’ (2019).

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, 2 rue de Viarmes, 75001

Musée Carnavalet

Having reopened to the public after a four-year restoration funded by the French capital, the Musée Carnavalet is Paris’s oldest museum and offers a deep dive into France’s rich history. From 19th century photos of Paris and souvenir plates of the French Revolution to oil portraits of renowned French writers and old shop signs, the museum boasts an eclectic collection of over 600,000 objects and artworks spread across two mansions: the Hôtel Carnavalet and the adjacent Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau. Newly launched rooms curate the history of the 20th and 21st centuries, showcasing photographs of the November 2015 terrorist attacks.  Venture down to the basement to find a space devoted to the city’s prehistoric, ancient, and medieval history.

Musée Carnavalet, 23 rue de Sévigné, 75003

Photo of the Salon de compagnie de l'hôtel d'Uzès in Musée Carnavalet in Paris
© Antoine Mercusot
Interior details from Hôtel de la Marine in Paris
© Benjamin Gavaudo

Hôtel de la Marine

Formerly the headquarters of the French navy, the Hôtel de la Marine is a grand neoclassical palace located on Place de la Concorde, which overlooks the city’s famed obelisk. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the king’s chief architect in the 18th century, the palace is open to view for the first time in almost 250 years following a four-year renovation. Today it houses the Al Thani collection, as well as gilded stately 19th century reception rooms and 18th century apartments. Head to the loggia adjoining the VIP lounges of the Hôtel de la Marine for stunning views over the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden, the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower.

Hôtel de la Marine, 2 Place de la Concorde, 75008

Maison de Victor Hugo

Recently reopened after a two-year makeover, the Marais mansion was home to famed writer, Victor Hugo from 1832 to 1848. Devoted to his hand-made furniture, first editions and drawings among other gems, the museum has been revamped with expanded spaces, new acquisitions, and restored objects, as well as a picturesque garden where you’ll find a replica of a snake-adorned fountain purchased by Hugo after Napoleon III seized power. New and refurbished pieces include a mirror frame painted by Hugo in 1857, and a fascinating series of sketches by François-Nicolas Chifflart, the first illustrator of Hugo’s novel, Toilers of the Sea.

Maison de Victor Hugo, 6 Place des Vosges, 75004

One of the rooms in Maison Victor Hugo in Paris
© Pierre Antoine
Black and white portrait of Serge Gainsbourg smoking
© Claude Truong Ngoc

Maison de Serge Gainsbourg

Pioneering French musician Serge Gainsbourg died thirty years ago but his home has only recently opened to the public. Having lived here from 1969 until his death, the house appears frozen in time. The untouched living room contains a piano and collection of sculptures, as well as an Art Deco bar, but also half-empty red wine bottles and an ashtray brimming with cigarette butts. Gainsbourg’s daughter, the actor Charlotte Gainsbourg, purchased the building after he passed away and has looked after it ever since with great care, managing to preserve it exactly as he left it. One of the highlights of the home is a bust of her mother, the actor Jane Birkin.

Maison de Serge Gainsbourg, 5 bis rue de Verneuil, 75007

Stay with us at Le Meurice or Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and you’ll find that you’re perfectly positioned to explore Paris finest museums  and major landmarks, as well as its charming local neighbourhoods.

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