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11.12.05

New Architecture Museum in Paris

Paris has so many good museums, most of which I know fairly well. However, here is something new to see on my next trip. In an article (Dernière ligne droite pour la Cité de Chaillot, December 10) for Le Figaro, Anne-Marie Romero describes the new Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, in the Palais de Chaillot, which will open partially to the public next September and completely in February 2007 (my translation):

A place of becoming, the renovations of this patrimonial site have something magical, enchanting, and disturbing about them. The 22,000 square meters of the former Musée des monuments français, the future Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, installed in the Paris wing of the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris, has that poetic grandeur of the vast abandoned factories so important in Tarkovsky's films, that Piranesian irreality appropriate to unfinished buildings. [...] Caged temporarily in sophisticated wood scaffolding, the portals of our Romanesque churches rise up, phantom-like, in the grand gallery that has been returned to the superior light desired by Davioud, just like the upper level, which will shelter 20th-century architecture, has regained its windows formerly blocked off from the Trocadéro gardens and its oculus windows reopened in the ceiling. With the murals restored, immense plaster mausolea placed here and there wait to be moved and presented in illuminated niches, like the church apses of which they are faithful copies.
In a companion article (Francis Rambert : «Donner des clés de lecture», December 10), Mme. Romero interviewed Francis Rambert, director of the Institut français d'architecture, which is preparing a massive exhibit of architectural models, of modern and contemporary buildings constructed from 1851 to 2001, to be shown in the new museum. It's definitely going to be worth a visit!

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