France

News
Museums

France enforces vaccine passports for over-18s visiting museums and cultural venues

Controversial “health pass” introduced to fight a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant

News
Exhibitions

Elba, Napoleon's Italian exile island, hosts bicentenary exhibition on the controversial French emperor

Uffizi Galleries in Florence among major lenders to show marking 200 years since his death

News
Museums

Museum dedicated to man who deciphered the hieroglyphics opens in France—full of Ancient Egyptian treasures

Musée Champollion in the south east of France—once owned by descendants of Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion’s family—is also exhibiting 82 artefacts on loan from the Louvre

News
Obituaries

Christian Boltanski, French conceptual artist, has died, aged 76

The artist, who was born just two weeks after Paris was liberated from Nazi control, was known for work that explored memory, loss and personal as well as cultural history

Analysis
Luma Arles

South of France art venues create Covid-united network—and welcome LUMA Arles into the fold

Plein Sud includes 66 venues spanning from the Mediterranean coast to the Alps

News
Restitution

France returns Pechstein painting looted in occupied Paris to heirs of Hugo Simon, a banker and leading figure in German cultural life

An exhibition at the Pompidou in Paris is currently paying tribute to the Jewish collector

News
Residencies

France to send creatives on the ultimate American road trip

The country’s Foreign Ministry is launching an innovative cultural residency that will exist beyond any walls

News
Appointments

Centre Pompidou in Paris names new president as Brussels branch backtracks over ‘sexist’ appointment

The Kanal-Centre Pompidou in Belgium has responded to outcry over decision to make Bernard Blistène a co-director alongside Kasia Redzisz

News
Openings

Come for the art, stay for the night at collector's south of France foundation

Provençal offshoot of Hubert Bonnet’s Brussels art space doubles as a five-room guest house

Feature
Arles

Destination Arles: must-see art and culture spots while on pilgrimage to the new LUMA creative campus

From Roman architecture to medieval streets that inspired Van Gogh, the historic city in the south of France is becoming a go-to destination

In partnership withLUMA Arles

News
Museums & Heritage

Paris's landmark Hôtel de la Marine opens to visitors—and co-working offices—after four years of restoration

The 550-room palace has undergone a €132m makeover by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux

News
Heritage

Amazon's plans to build massive warehouse near Roman aqueduct in south of France cause concern

Locals say the construction will be a "wart" on the way to Pont du Gard, a Unesco world heritage site, and will harm the surrounding environment

News
Museums & Heritage

Paris's indebted Fan Museum at risk of folding

Income losses during the pandemic have pushed the private museum and fan-making workshop to the brink

News
Appointments & departures

Laurence des Cars will be the first woman to lead the Louvre in its history

A seasoned director with an emphasis on the social role of museums, she replaces Jean-Luc Martinez as the Louvre's president-director on 1 September

News
Openings

Chez Victor Hugo: author's former Paris home reopens after revamp

Closed for five months longer than planned, the renovated house-museum can finally unveil expanded spaces, restored treasures and new acquisitions

News
Openings

As French museums reopen, Loire region unveils Modern art collection in a Medieval abbey

The Fontevraud Modern Art Museum, housed in a 12th-century monastery’s former stables, will preserve more than 800 works donated by collectors Martine and Léon Cligman

News
Museums

Pinault's Bourse de Commerce plans to finally launch on 22 May as Macron gives French museums the green light to reopen

Health passes to certify visitors are Covid-free will be mandatory at cultural venues

News
Prehistoric art

Researchers suggest that trippy hallucinations influenced prehistoric cave art

Reduced oxygen resulting from the use of torches in narrow enclosed spaces likely triggered hypoxia, resulting in out-of-body experiences, scholars report

News
Fakes and forgeries

'Cranach' painting of Venus at centre of Old Masters fakes scandal must be returned to Prince of Liechtenstein, court rules

Seized as part of a forgery investigation, the work has been fully studied and must no longer be kept as evidence

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

'It could have been much worse': the current state of play of Notre Dame's restoration, two years after the fire

Philippe Villeneuve, the lead architect of the cathedral, is confident the Parisian landmark will reopen for the Olympic Games in 2024

News
Art market

French galleries sue state over Covid-19 closure

The gallery association CPGA is going to court, claiming its members are “victims of a distortion of competition” as auction houses are allowed to stay open

News
Protest art

Protest artist arrested in Paris after trying to enter presidential grounds with fake Molotov cocktail

Alexei Kuzmich, who is known for performances critiquing the regime of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, warned France is also “slipping into fascism” and accused president Emmanuel Macron of punishing dissenters

News
Memorials

France's planned slavery memorial on hold over debate about naming 200,000 freed slaves

Shortlisted proposals by artists including Adrian Piper, Julien Creuzet and duo Sammy Baloji and Emeka Ogboh did not adequately adhere to the requirements, campaign group says

News
Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou plans to show 120,000 works 'as much as possible' around France during three-year closure

While Paris museum undergoes renovations, Europe's biggest modern and contemporary art collection will go on tour—keeping curators employed

News
Museums

Musée d’Orsay in Paris renamed after late French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing

The formal name change—an administrative move—also means the Muséee de l’Orangerie will be rebranded

News
Visitor Figures 2020

Curate-it-yourself: French museums take to social media to ask the public what they want to see in their galleries

Spurred on by the pandemic, several institutions are inviting art lovers to choose works for display

News
Appointments & departures

Succession: critics take aim at Louvre chief Jean-Luc Martinez as he seeks reappointment

French president Emmanuel Macron will decide whether to renew or replace the museum's director in the coming weeks

News
coronavirus

French culture minister hospitalised after contracting Covid-19

Roselyne Bachelot's condition is "stable and not worrying"

News
Luma Arles

Frank Gehry’s twisting tower for Luma Arles to open its doors in June

Patron Maja Hoffmann is driving the ambitious cultural project in southern France

News
Art market

Newly attributed Bernini drawing up for auction in France

Actéon auctioneers expect the 17th-century study of a male nude, authenticated by Ann Sutherland Harris and Louis de Bayser, to sell for €30,000 to €50,000

News
Art market

After a stormy few years, Paris Biennale is laid to rest

The long-running French event will be replaced by a new art, antiques and luxury crafts fair at the end of November

News
Copyright

Musée Rodin could be forced to release 3D scans of bronze sculptures—including The Thinker—to the public

Cosmo Wenman made a freedom of information request for the files and is taking the museum to court because it turned him down

News
Technology

Pushing the envelope: new technology reads 300-year-old letter without opening it

X-rays and computer algorithms preserve the complicated technique of letterlocking, which turn writing paper into envelope

News
Design

Richard Rogers-designed drawing gallery hangs dramatically off a French hillside

One of the architect’s final commissions before his retirement is the newest addition to the art- and architecture-studded Chateau La Coste vineyard in southern France

Podcast

Stonehenge: could a road tunnel ruin the ancient site?

Plus, French museums revolt against lockdown closures and artist Crystal Fischetti on Karla Black

News
Museums

Far-right mayor reopens four museums in southern France—without government’s permission

Although national museums are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Perpignan's Musée Rigaud, Casa Pairal, Musée Puig and the museum of natural history are open to the public again

News
Museums & Heritage

Museum revolution: 100 French directors call for 'essential' reopening

Petition urges culture minister to lift coronavirus restrictions on museums and galleries so they can "take care of visitors now"

News
Controversies

Amid child sexual abuse accusations, Paris authorities turn off Claude Lévêque light sculptures

The French artist is under police investigation over claims that he abused minors under the age of 15

News
Controversies

Kamel Mennour gallery's representation of Claude Lévêque suspended after allegations of abuse of minors

According to French media reports, a police investigation has been launched into violations dating back to the 1970s

News
Prizes

Lithium mining and a Donald Judd horror film: nominees for Prix Marcel Duchamp—France's most prestigious contemporary art award—announced

The four artists will have their work exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris for the prize, worth €35,000

News
Paris

Champs Élysées—one of Paris’s most polluted roads—to be transformed into ‘extraordinary garden’

The major avenue will undergo a €250m makeover to restore its former splendour, following the 2024 Summer Olympics

News
Museums

Opening of Pinault's Bourse de Commerce postponed as French museums told to remain closed

Scheduled to reopen this week, cultural institutions must keep their doors shut after an increase in Covid-19 cases

News
Art market

French High Court orders retrial of Wildenstein art dynasty tax fraud case

Guy Wildenstein and his nephew were accused of hiding assets worth hundreds of millions but were acquitted in 2017 and 2018—now they are wanted back in court for a third trial

News
Restitution

Congolese activist who tried to seize an artefact from the Louvre is fined €5,000

Mwazulu Diyabanza says that “museums do not deserve respect” as restitution debate intensifies

News
Restitution

French restitution bill passes final hurdle in parliament

Vote by National Assembly paves the way for the return of 27 colonial-era artefacts to Benin and Senegal within one year, but “will not create a legal precedent”

News
Restitution

French Senate and government lock horns on restitution

Deputies rejected senators' proposal for a national council to advise the government on future restitution claims

News
Amedeo Modigliani

Revealed: the secrets behind Antonia, Modigliani’s ‘most complex work’

Researchers at C2RMF give an exclusive preview of their forensic study of all the artist's works in French museum collections

News
Museums

French museums dismayed as reopening pushed to 7 January

Three-week delay caused by rising cases of coronavirus in the country

News
Censorship

Censored work showing faces of 4,000 French police officers goes on show in Berlin

Work was pulled after the intervention of France's interior minister amid protests against a new bill that would have criminalised the publication of images of law enforcement

News
Art market

Collection of Balthus drawings and paintings to be sold for €1.2m—so why no mention of his infatuation with pubescent girls?

The works are from the estate of the artist’s teenage “muse and model” Frédérique Tison, who was also his step-niece

News
Restitution

French Senate votes unanimously for restitution to Benin and Senegal in 'act of friendship and trust'

Senate approves bill to return 27 colonial-era artefacts from museum collections to Africa within one year

News
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia continues relentless cultural drive with Jean Nouvel subterranean desert resort

The plans are part of a ten-year agreement between France and Saudi Arabia to develop the AlUla region into a tourism destination

News
Museums

Louvre and French museums close, while German museums await clarity in second coronavirus lockdown

Closing German museums would be “a hard blow for the institutions and society,” the country's museums association says

News
France

Congolese activist fined €1,000 for trying to seize African funeral pole from Paris museum

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and the other activists who removed the object from display at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac say their actions are a protest against colonial looting

News
Restitution

France’s National Assembly votes to return colonial-era artefacts to Benin and Senegal

Accelerated bill enabling restitution of 27 objects from French museums passes first vote in parliament

News
African art

Trial of Quai Branly protestors in Paris centres on ‘political’ aspect of activist action

Court erupts after attendee shouts that African funeral pole "belongs to us"

News
Restitution

France ordered to return three Derain paintings to heirs of Jewish dealer René Gimpel

Ruling by Paris court of appeal sets an important precedent for pending restitution claim over 16 paintings in French museum collections

News
Fashion

How about an €8m Chanel makeover? Paris fashion museum reopens with help of luxury brand

Palais Galliera opens its doors during a hybrid physical and digital Paris fashion week with a major Chanel exhibition

News
Museums

Plans for world's biggest Picasso museum in south of France scuppered

Aix-en-Provence city council says that sale fell through after negotiations with artist’s stepdaughter broke down

News
Openings

Pack your goggles! France to open three underwater sculpture parks this autumn

Visitors will need to swim to see new exhibits submerged off the coast of Corsica, Marseille and Cannes

News
Heritage

Vandals smash statue of Mary Magdalene in French chapel—apparently because she is naked

A note was left at the scene by the perpetrators saying they “did not accept” that the saint should be “represented in such a way”

News

French photographers demand President Macron puts his arts pandemic plan into practice

Signatories say that a ‘new deal’ is needed in France, enabling photojournalists to document the epidemic

News
Disasters & destruction

Security questions remain after Nantes cathedral blaze: 'There's no European country where church fires are this common'

An arson investigation has been launched into the fire at the Gothic St Peter and St Paul Cathedral in western France

News
Restitution

France takes first legal step towards restitutions to Benin and Senegal as cabinet examines new law

Twenty-six objects looted from Abomey Palace to return to Benin, Omar Tall’s sword to be transferred to Senegal

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Notre Dame's spire to be rebuilt the way it was—but use of lead likely to spark new controversy

French President Macron makes u-turn after first suggesting the 19th-century spire, which was destroyed in the fire last year, should be replaced by a contemporary design

News
Museums

Musée Rodin in Paris casts new bronzes to offset losses from Covid-19 crisis

With an estimated shortfall of €4.4m in revenue, the museum is looking to "increase the offer and opportunities for sales to new markets"

News
France

Roselyne Bachelot is France’s new culture minister

The former health and ecology minister shares a passion for opera with newly appointed Prime Minister Jean Castex

Interview
Appointments & departures

'The show must go on': new Rencontres d’Arles director promises 'less is more' approach after pandemic scuppers this year's edition

Head-hunted from Paris Photo, Christoph Wiesner will begin role as Luma Foundation officially opens its headquarters in the French city

News
Art market

American collector to sue France over restitution of $1.7m Pissarro painting

Real estate developer Bruce Toll claims compensation after French High court confirms return of Pissarro's Pea Harvest to heirs of collector Simon Bauer

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

Paris dealer who sold golden sarcophagus to New York’s Metropolitan Museum charged with fraud and money laundering

The work was returned to Egypt last year after officials were shown evidence it might have been looted during the Arab Spring in 2011

News
Antiquities

Former Louvre curator among five arrested in Paris in antiquities trafficking investigation

Case involves "hundreds of objects worth millions" looted from the Near and Middle East

News
Monuments

Artist of African descent must create France's new slavery memorial, campaign group says

Culture ministry launches open call for monument that will be sited near the Musée du Louvre

News
Museums

French museums reveal plans to re-open in June and July

Louvre is "is working towards a planned reopening on 6 July" with strict rules for social distancing and 70% of the museum open to the public

News
coronavirus

Five European museum directors explain their reopening strategies

From capped visitor numbers to surgical gloves and temperature checks, here's how cultural institutions are getting ready to leave lockdown

News
Art market

Strong sales as France restarts live auctions

Artcurial, the first auction house to reopen, doubled its sale estimate as lockdown seems to have "sharpened" buyers' appetite

News
Biennials & festivals

‘In two and a half years, who knows where the world will be’—Lyon Biennale curators reveal why exhibition was pushed back from 2021 to 2022

Pressure on resources play a part as well as ethical issues in the wake of coronavirus

News
France

Amidst fierce criticism, Emmanuel Macron announces plans to help France's culture sector during the pandemic

French president says artists will be invited into schools and asked to create new commissions, but many art professionals say it is not enough

News
Controversies

Director of France’s national furniture collection defends plans to sell 100 items at auction to aid healthcare workers

Move prompts fears that works from national museum collections could be sold off too

News
Museums & Heritage

Lockdown drives digital boom at French museums—but where's the business model?

Podcasts, social media channels and virtual exhibitions are experiencing unprecedented traffic but do not make up for lost revenue

News
coronavirus

French galleries and 'small museums' to reopen in stages from 11 May

Larger museums are unlikely to be accessible until June

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Germany offers help in restoring Notre Dame's stained-glass windows

German cathedral glass workshops have the expertise and experience necessary to undertake the restoration

Feature
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Anniversary of Notre-Dame fire: it's safe, but big decisions need to be taken as Covid-19 halts restoration

Rebuilding the roof will be among the main challenges, and the reconstruction of the spire will be among the most controversial

News
France

French organisations create artists' funds and support for summer festivals

The culture ministry and southwest region provides grants for projects, while Paris-based collector Antoine de Galbert appeals to private donors through his foundation

News
Art market

One third of French galleries could shut before end of 2020 due to coronavirus impact

Survey issued by the Comité professionnel des galeries d'art reveals the economic damage already done, with members estimating a total loss of €184m for this quarter

News
Auctions

Charity auction raises more than €2m for French healthcare workers

Paris-based auction house Piasa hosted online sale of 370 works donated by artists, designers and galleries

News
Art market

La Biennale Paris relies on government funding bailout to support dealers during coronavirus crisis

Exhibitors at the art and antiques fair in September will not have to pay the usual advance deposit and allowed to spread out payment over four months

News
coronavirus

Patrick Devedjian—French politician and driving force behind new museum dedicated to the Sun King—has died of coronavirus

Devedjian was leading plans for a museum project in Saint-Cloud, west of Paris, about the reign of Louis XIV

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Thieves arrested for stealing stones from Notre Dame in Paris

Drunk perpetrators may have wanted to sell the items on the black market

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Notre Dame reconstruction halted because of stringent coronavirus measures

Plans to remove the scaffolding around the fire-damaged cathedral have been put on hold

News
coronavirus

France’s culture minister tests positive for Covid-19

Franck Riester was due to meet with representatives from the country’s arts and culture spaces about the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, but is now resting at home

News
Musee d'Orsay

Anonymous €20m donation kickstarts Musée d’Orsay transformation

Radical revelopment of former train station building will make way for more Impressionist works and visitors

News
Virtual Reality

Google unlocks prehistoric art of France’s Chauvet cave

One of the world's oldest rock art sites is now accessible through virtual reality

News
Art market

Old Master scandal: Italy rejects European arrest warrant for painter connected to forgery case

Lino Frongia was arrested in September as part of a major investigation involving works purportedly by Lucas Cranach, Frans Hals, Parmigianino, Gentileschi and Bronzino

News
coronavirus

Coronavirus: Louvre closes while Italian museums reopen following government green light

Italian officials say cultural institutions can open to the public so long as they ensure “visitors respect a distance of at least a metre between each other”

News
Law

France reconfirms that women baring their breasts in public is illegal—even for artists and protestors

Two women who are part of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen were charged for topless protests, one of which was in a Paris museum

News
Claude Monet

Monet for nothing: Musée Marmottan’s ‘self-portrait’ is downgraded

After a long-running debate, the picture, going on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam today, has been attributed to Charles Giron

News
Controversies

Embroiled in Palestine row, artist Zineb Sedira says she will not stand down as France’s representative at 2021 Venice Biennale

Pro-Israel arts group protested to French culture ministry about her appointment

News
Musée du Domaine Royal de Marly

Decadence of Sun King’s pleasure palace revealed at reopened museum near Versailles

Musée du Domaine Royal de Marly is dedicated to the château where Louis XIV partied with his favoured courtiers

News
Venice Biennale 2021

Zineb Sedira to represent France at 2021 Venice Biennale

The artist is the first of Algerian descent to be selected by France for the international exhibition, according to Le Monde

News
Forgeries

Alleged Bronzino seized from the Alana Collection in connection with ongoing Old Master scandal

French customs officials have barred the return of Saint Cosmos to the US following its inclusion in a show at the Jacquemart André Museum in Paris