In 2017, officials announced that the Bourse de Commerce, the former home of the Paris stock exchange, would be transformed into an art museum. More than three years later, the vision is almost complete as the new museum’s doors are expected to open in Jan. 23, 2021.
François Pinault, a French luxury goods tycoon, purchased the space and made it his mission to turn it into the nation’s next great art destination. At the time of the announcement, Pinault noted he’d fill the space with his own personal art collection, which The Guardian reported was worth somewhere around $1.5 billion and includes some 3,500 pieces by the likes of Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst.
However, Pinault said, the art itself wouldn’t be the only draw. The renovation of the building, he said, would turn it too into a masterpiece. So, he enlisted the help of Japanese architect Tadao Ando to craft this exterior work.
"By nesting new spaces within it, while respecting the memories of the city engraved in its walls, I will transform the building’s entire interior into a space for contemporary art,” Ando shared in a statement on the museum’s website. “The theme here, once again, is to create a building that connects the past with the present and the future."
According to Lonely Planet, the renovation included adding gallery space to the building and a 284-seat auditorium for screenings, lectures, conferences, and concerts. It also includes a new massive foyer, along with a black-box theatre for experimental performances.
The building, which sits between the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, was initially intended to open in June 2020. However, the plans changed just as the world did with the coronavirus pandemic. But now, the building is ready, the staff is trained, and everyone is prepared to bring a bit more socially-distanced culture to the world.
“I am delighted with the upcoming opening of the Bourse de Commerce,” Pinault recently shared with Vogue. “Not only will it add to the European landscape of institutions devoted to presenting contemporary art, but after the difficult year experienced by France and the world in 2020, it will contribute to the renaissance of the Parisian cultural sphere.”
There is, however, one big secret Pinault is keeping to himself about the opening: Just what exactly will be on display. As Vogue noted, the museum’s programming will remain a secret until the opening. But, no matter what is on display, odds are it will be spectacular.
"With the creation of this new museum, I am writing the next chapter of my cultural project,” Pinault said in 2017, “whose goal is to share my passion for contemporary art with as broad an audience as possible."
See more on the museum’s opening dates, COVID protocols, and how to get tickets here.
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