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Thread: Paris to open biggest museum in 30 years

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    Thumbs up Paris to open biggest museum in 30 years



    On 20th June, President Chirac will inaugurate the new Musée du Quai Branly, dedicated to art and civilisation of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The museum will have 300,000 objects on display, spread on 39,000 m2. As its name indicates, it is located on Quai Branly (along the River Seine) in Paris' 7th arrondissement, just a few hundred meters from the Eiffel Tower.

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    Hmm, might be interesting to visit this summer when I'm going to Paris :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    On 20th June, President Chirac will inaugurate the new Musée du Quai Branly, dedicated to art and civilisation of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The museum will have 300,000 objects on display, spread on 39,000 m2. As its name indicates, it is located on Quai Branly (along the River Seine) in Paris' 7th arrondissement, just a few hundred meters from the Eiffel Tower.
    Hmmm sounds great, more things to see in Parisc! You know I visited Paris 3 times but still haven't seen all the things I wanted to, it's jus too many things to do and see over there.

    But this year's vacation we are either going to Melbourne and Venice...:112: :128: :84: :115: :75: :55: :98: :90:

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    I have visited the museum yesterday, and I have to say that I was quite disappointed. The museum isn't that big (despite the appearance from outside), the layout is rather confusing, and the exhibits are far from exceptional. In fact, my impression when I saw those "tribal arts" was that the purpose of the museum was to show how primitive the world was outside Europe; a sort of demonstration of the mediocrity and retardation of non-Western art. Of course the "mainstream" Asian art (i.e. non-tribal) isn't represented, which only reinforces that impression. People who don't know well Hindu/Buddhist or Muslim art from South-East Asia (my guess is that there are many) might believe that all that has come from that region is a few primitive objects.

    Something that seemed consistent with tribal art around the world is the representation of "scary" (read "grotesque") masks or dolls for magic purpose.

    Let's now come to the name of the museum. As a French speaker I find the word "Branly" weird, because "branler" in French means "to wank" (to jack off), and "branleur" means "wanker". "Branly" only sounds like the adjective, in a anglicised version. So maybe they should renname the museum "Grotesque Demon Museum", or even better the "Grotesque Wanky Quay (Wankiki ?) Museum".

    For 8.5 euro, visit the Louvre Museum or another good museum instead.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 22-10-06 at 10:49.

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    Oh - when I read your first post I thought that would be really interesting to visit (I will definitely be going back to Paris next year, I don't think I can keep away any longer! ) but on reading your opinion, it sounds maybe not so good. Still, I might check it out anyway, depending on how much time I've got... (although I'll probably end up going back to the Louvre and d'Orsay and other, smaller places I either love or haven't yet had the chance to see... :) )

    It's a shame there isn't representation of more 'mainstream' art from outside of Europe, as I'd be interested to see such a thing, a more 'contemporary' outlook if you like, because a lot of such exhibits do seem to focus on very old and/or 'primitive' examples, often old artefacts to do with religious practice rather than the modern examples of art (not saying that people don't still make religious-practice objects, but I mean, art for art's sake...)... I'd like to see more of non-European photography and digital art, stuff like that...

    [I'm rambling ]

    2 museums in Paris that are relatively little but they are nice are the Dali museum and the Rodin museum; I'd definitely recommend both of those.

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    The Royal Museum for Central Africa near Brussels is much better in many respect. The building in which the museum is housed beats the Quai Branly 10 to 1, and the quality of the exhibits is far higher. At least when visiting the Royal Museum for Central Africa, it makes you want to go to Africa and learn more about it. However you look at it, the Quai Branly Museum seems to have been designed only to feel contempt toward non European arts. Add to this the marvelous setting of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (see my photos) in an immense park with ponds, ducks and geese, tree-line alleys, statues and flower beds, there is no way the Quai Branly can even be seen as a rival.

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