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New Paris museum to house billionaire’s modern art collection

Eric Feferberg, AFP | The Bourse du Commerce in Paris

A new museum is to open in the heart of Paris to showcase a vast collection of modern art owned by one of France’s wealthiest businessmen, the mayor of the French capital Anne Hidalgo announced Wednesday.


The new museum will be located at the Bourse de Commerce – a grand building in the Les Halles area of central Paris currently used by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. It will be converted into an exhibition space for artworks owned by luxury retail magnate François Pinault, considered one of the most important collectors of modern and contemporary art in the world.

"This is very good news, we have the chance to host the collection of François Pinault in an unprecedented and exceptional space," said Hidalgo. "This day is a beautiful day," she added.

Pinault, 79, whose retail company Kering owns a variety of luxury brands including Gucci and Alexander McQueen, has built up a collection of more than 3,000 artworks over the years, including pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami.

They are currently on display in Venice, Italy, after a 2005 attempt to open a museum in Paris fell through.

Under the terms of the deal, Pinault and his family will be given a 50-year lease on the Bourse de Commerce – originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities – in exchange for carrying out the renovations necessary to convert it into a museum.

Pinault’s son, François-Henri Pinault, who took over as CEO of Kering in 2005, will chair the museum’s board of directors.

The new museum, located not far from some of Paris’s best-known art institutions including the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre, is expected to open its doors in 2018.


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