Budget for €19m revamp of Art Deco theatre in Paris does not include interior work

Around €2m needed to restore murals by Bonnard and Vuillard


The Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris has launched a campaign to raise the estimated €2m needed to restore the building’s Art Deco interior. The theatre, designed by Jacques Carlu, Louis- Hippolyte Boileau and Léon Azéma for the World’s Fair in 1937, is in the middle of a €19m makeover to expand and modernise its structure and to reinstate certain elements, including the building’s original entrance on the Place de Varsovie, opposite the Eiffel Tower.

The €19m budget does not cover all of the costs associated with restoring the lighting, ironwork and painted murals. Ker-Xavier Roussel’s marouflaged canvases in the theatre’s Nabis Gallery, which will become the entrance hall again when the Chaillot reopens in 2017, are in need of conservation work. Many other painted decorations have not been touched since the 1930s, including Edouard Vuillard’s La Comédie and Pierre Bonnard’s La Pastorale, also in the Nabis Gallery, each of which will cost around €35,000 to treat. Conservation work on Maurice Denis’s La Musique Sacrée, in the Salle des Quatre Colonnes, is expected to cost around €30,000.

The Théâtre National de Chaillot is looking for individual as well as corporate donors. It would be a shame if these spaces, at the heart of the theatre, were not part of its renovation.