The Musée d'Arts in Nantes (formerly the Fine Arts Museum) has one of the largest art collections in all of France. So its long-awaited reopening is definitely something to celebrate! On 23 June, the museum will fling its doors open again and there's much that's new to discover.
The Cube and renovations
The British company behind the renovations of the Tower of London, the Royal National Theatre and more, the Stanton-Williams agency, have steered the project. The most obvious improvement is the one that you really can't miss - a whole new building has been added to the museum called the Cube.
As it name would suggest, it's a sleek modern cube of a building and its 2,000 metres squared of new floor space will host contemporary exhibitions. Combined with the main part of the museum, there's now 17,000 metres squared of display space to put the museums over 12,000 artworks on show.
Inside the original museum building, which was first opened in 1900 (in the same year as the Universal Exposition), there's been lots of renovation work too. There's loads of natural light in the building and this has also been taken into account in the Cube, where its revolutionary construction makes it a first in Europe.
The museum's collection featuring masterpieces by de la Tour, Picasso, Chagall, Monet, Kadinsky, Ernst and many more other artists can now be enjoyed in surroundings as beautiful as the artworks themselves. In fact, the collection is the only one outside Paris to showcase such a broad panorama of work from the 13th century to the contemporary.
Whilst there are lots of older artworks, around 55% of the collection dates from the 20th and 21st centuries so it's perfect if you love your art more modern. And there's some truly modern art in the sections on contemporary sculpture and the media and video installations. The museum's drawings and prints department even has 13,500 pieces.
You can find out more at the museum's official site: museedartsdenantes.nantesmetropole.fr/en/home.html
More to see
Next door is the gorgeously Baroque Chapelle de l'Oratoire which was restored in 1988 and the museum uses this beautiful chapel for talks and exhibitions too.
Delve into this fascinating collection when the museum reopens on 23 June and spend hours surrounded by the creativity that Nantes is famous for. You'll find plenty to do if culture is your thing, especially during La Voyage á Nantes from 1 July to 27 August.