The Musée Carnavalet—the museum of Paris’s history, which opened in 1880 and is run by the City of Paris—closed last week for an extensive renovation and restoration. It is due to reopen in late 2019 or early 2020. The museum occupies two annexed hôtels particuliers in the Right-Bank Marais neighbourhood: the Hôtel Carnavalet, which dates to the mid-16th century and is an important example of the remaining Renaissance architecture in Paris, and the Hôtel Le Peletier, dating to the late 17th century, which opened as part of the museum in 1989. The €43m project, funded by the city, will include repairs to the roof and woodwork of the buildings.
It is also the chance for the museum to refresh its presentation. The museum’s director, Valérie Guillaume, told the AFP
that there are currently “holes” in the display, including the Middle Ages, Renaissance and 20th-21st centuries. The museum’s period rooms will be a focus of the reinstallation. The collection will also be presented in both French and English, a crucial upgrade as half of the museum’s 450,000 visitors per year come from abroad, many from the US, according to the AFP.
During the closure, the Carnavalet’s collection of 600,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, archaeological finds, furniture and photography, will be inventoried and digitised. Some pieces from the collection will travel to the US, Canada and Japan; for the moment, there are no additional details, says a spokesman for the museum. Meanwhile, a selection of coins from the Carnavalet’s collection will be on show at the Conciergerie, near Notre-Dame.
For those curious of what is in store for the Musée Carnavalet, the museum’s on-site 17th-century orangerie will host a “prefiguration space”, due to open in 2017, with information about the renovation and restoration project.