At last François Pinault achieves his long-held ambition to display the €1.2 billion treasure by contemporary masters at the French capital. One of the world’s biggest private art collections is to be housed in a new Paris museum close to the Louvre. The luxury goods billionaire who also owns Christie’s auction house is taking over Paris’ Bourse de Commerce to show his vast collection of modern masters. The enormous collection of work from artists including Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Subodh Gupta are now on display at Pinault’s private museums in Venice.
“I am delighted, it’s a big plus for the city,” said Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo pointing out that the new museum was also near the Pompidou Centre, home to Europe’s biggest contemporary art collection. With a smile across her face, Anne Hidalgo who negotiated the deal, described the new museum as “an immense gift to the heart of Paris”.
Last year Bernard Arnault opened his own Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation for his art collection. The art supporting ventures really help to put Paris back on the modern art map. “It is great to have our captains of industry helping to fly our colours. With this and the Fiac art fair, Paris is regaining its place in contemporary art,” praised the energetic Hidalgo, first female mayor of the City of Lights.
Under the terms of the deal, Pinault and his family will be given a 50-year lease on the building, which they must also renovate. The drive will enhance the new heart beat to the surrounding Les Halles district. The 19th-century central market was bulldozed in the 1970s to make way for an airless underground shopping complex and transport hub detested by its residents. La Canopée, a vast steel and glass structure unveiled last April by Anne Hidalgo to solve the problem has also been derided.
It was not revealed how much the work would cost or how much rent should he pay. In a press conference the multi billionnaire admits it was his ambition “to contribute to the brilliance of Paris in an original and strong way.” Tadao Ando, the Japanese architect who redesigned the Palazzo Grassi in Venice into a museum in 2006 for Francois Pinault, will be in charge of the renovations.
In 2001, Pinault handed the reins of his empire – which includes Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Puma and Balenciaga – to his son François-Henri, who is married to the Mexican Hollywood star Salma Hayek. Since then, the man once described as the most powerful in the art world has mostly dedicated himself to his collection, installing it in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and two other historic buildings in the city.
Francois Pinault had tried for years to build a museum on the site of an old Renault car factory on the Ile Seguin in the middle of the Seine, west of Paris, but gave up in 2005 after a series of planning delays.
You don't need to go to Paris to get your art dose since Art Stage Jakarta is coming this August.