Paris’s historic former naval headquarters to open to public
But French government will not confirm if Qatar is still involved in the project
By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 21 August 2014
France’s Centre des Monuments Nationaux has announced that the Hôtel de la Marine on Paris’s Place de la Concorde will open to the public in 2017. The centre plans to refurbish the 18th-century building, hiring out 8,000 sq. m as office space in what has been the operational headquarters of the French navy since 1789.
The French company Groupe Allard, which revamps historic and cultural sites, was initially one of the front-runners in a competition for a long-term lease on the 553-room property. The firm planned to convert part of the building, which was built around 1757 for Louis XV, into “exhibition spaces for artists and craftsmen”, but this proposal was rejected by the government in early 2012. Plans to turn the building into a rotating exhibition space run by the Louvre, proposed in 2012, were also abandoned.
A spokeswoman for the Centre des Monuments Nationaux declined to say if the Emir of Qatar, who initially backed the project, is still involved.
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