The French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen presented the renovation project for the Grand Palais in Paris to the media. The budget for the project, whose work is planned to last for three years, from 2020 to 2023, is €466 million, of which €25 million have been pledged by Chanel, as the luxury label decided to play a part in the makeover of the building where it regularly shows its collections.
From the Eiffel Tower to a rocket, waterfalls, a French Garden and huge wooden house, Karl Lagerfeld has previously transformed the Grand Palais into some spectacular, magical and audacious backdrops to his ready-to-wear and haute couture Chanel shows. It was only natural that the Parisian house chose to support the renovation of the iconic French cultural landmark, in line with Gabrielle Chanel’s own love of Paris’ cultural and artistic scenes.
Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Grand Palais is one of Europe’s most beautiful historic monuments as well as a site that has been closely linked with Chanel for many years.
“Chanel and the Grand Palais have developed a close bond, which was initiated by Karl Lagerfeld in 2005. For Chanel, the Grand Palais, and especially its exceptional nave where our fashion shows are held, is much more than a simple monument in the heart of Paris. Its remarkable architecture makes it a true source of inspiration and creation for Karl Lagerfeld. This Parisian institution has a universal vocation, and we are proud and delighted to accompany the Grand Palais and its President, Sylvie Hubac, in such an ambitious restoration and renovation project,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, Fashion President of Chanel.
According to detailed plans announced by the Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN), the government cultural body that runs the building, a new entrance will be unveiled leading from Square Jean Perrin into the refurbished Palais de la découverte, a science museum adjoining the Grand Palais. A new internal “pedestrian street” called the Rue des Palais will also be built, linking the different parts of the vast historic complex. Between one and four exhibitions will be shown annually across six refurbished exhibition spaces. The work will be carried out by the Franco-Italian architects Local Architecture Network (LAN).
The French government will donate €288 million to the total €466 million cost of the overhaul; the RMN will also loan €150 million. The French company will exclusively become the sponsor of its renovation project scheduled to begin in December 2020 and culminate in 2024, with a partial reopening in 2023.