This Paris Life

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The Picasso Museum in the Marais neighborhood will reopen in June 2014 after a major makeover

This is the second in our series looking at major projects that are enhancing parts of Paris.

Art lovers will be delighted that the Picasso Museum in Paris’s Marais neighborhood is to reopen to the public in June 2014. The art gallery has been closed for five years for a major renovation and restoration program. The €52 million project will increase the museum’s size from 2,300 m2 to 3,800 m2. An additional 10 rooms will bring the total number of exhibition spaces to 34.

The museum has occupied part of the Hôtel Salé, one of the Marais neighborhood’s finest historic buildings, since 1976. The Marais is particularly rich in noble mansions and palaces, since it was one of Europe’s first urban areas to be preserved in the mid-1960s.

The Hôtel Salé was originally built between 1656 and 1659 for Pierre Aubert, seigneur de Fontenay. He became rich on the proceeds of the gabelle or salt tax, which he was granted the right to collect. This explains the name of the building, which literally means ‘salted’.

Although he was Spanish by birth, Pablo Picasso spent much of his life in France. The Picasso Museum houses thousands of his works, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and engravings. The museum’s directors anticipate that the makeover and expansion will double the number of visitors to 850,000 per year.


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