Labors of Hercules at the Grand Palais in Paris, closed until 2024

Decided ten years ago due to deep degradation, the site was revised at the end of 2020 for a “more sober and ecological” concept, at the request of the Ministry of Culture.

Tearing down walls and partitions, fire safety, accessibility, restoration of roofs undertaken since 2016 (20,000 m2 over 35,000 m2), air conditioning, new routes … all this must be done with an envelope approved in 2016: 466 million euros financed through grants, borrowing and sponsorship.

The Grand Palais, whose director is Belgian art historian Chris Dercon, is 72,000 m2, one km in circumference, 200,000 tonnes of stone, more iron than the Eiffel Tower, 280 tonnes of glass… Among the most expensive works of Hercules in the initial plan, the excavation of thousands of square meters under the nave was abandoned. “There were very strong risks when digging in a flood zone. The previous project broke a lot of things. By maintaining the existing one, we could keep the same surface”, explains Emmanuel Marcovitch, Deputy Director General of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, responsible for all the buildings.

An “ephemeral Grand Palais” was built by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte at the Champ de Mars, until the nave could accommodate in 2024 the events of the Olympic Games, fairs and parades under the largest glass roof in Europe. elegant reseda green frames.

For exhibitions at the Palais d’Antin, which has housed the Palais de la Découverte since 1937, another ephemeral structure, “Les Étincelles”, will open in the 15th arrondissement.

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