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Quai Branly, a tribute to civilizations

May 23, 2012

Former French President Georges Pompidou had the reputation of being an art lover. He thus pushed hard to launch the edification of a museum dedicated to modern art in the center of Paris.  This is how  Centre Georges Pompidou, or Beaubourg, as it is usually called, was born. François Mitterand, the French President from 1981 to 1995 commissioned the building of the “Bibliothèque Nationale” (French Library), named after him “Bibliothèque François Mitterand”. Jacques Chirac, his successor at the head of the state, couldn’t resist the temptation to create a museum dedicated to one of his passions, the primitive arts, gaining in the process  an opportunity to leave his fingerprint on French culture.

This passion has always been a real driving force for Jacques Chirac. The former French president strongly influenced the decision to have a section of the Louvre Museum dedicated to the art from Africa and Oceania. But this wasn’t enough for him, as he also wanted an entire museum to pay tribute to these cultures often overlooked by French curators. He faced major opposition from cultural elites but refused to abandon this project.

French architect Jean Nouvel was in charge of the design of the building. Works started in 1996 just a few meters away from the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine. The façade of the Quai Branly is very easily recognizable, with its magenta color and green walls. The Museum was inaugurated in 2006 by Jacques Chirac and some famous hosts, among whom Kofi Annan or Claude Levi-Strauss.

The Museum is home to one of the most impressive collections in the world of primitive art. Masterpieces from Oceania, Asia, Africa and South America are on display in a very soothing atmosphere.

The restaurant located at the top of the building, les Ombres, is a famous dining venue in Paris. Itt offers an elegant cuisine and a beautiful view on Paris.

Musée du Quai Branly

37 Quai Branly

75007 Paris

+33 1 56 61 70 00

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm (and 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays)

The entrance ticket for permanent collections costs 8,5€

“Les Ombres” restaurant: +33 1 47 53 68 00

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