This article is in English. Click here to read it in French.
« Là où dialoguent les cultures » – nothing could better describe this museum, where you can wander among artifacts from Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia. But it will also allow you to broaden your travel experience through daring artistic events, prestigious conferences and other recreational activities.
In desperate need of a holiday? Or perhaps you just want to stay in France and discover other cultures without taking a plane? Get up and head to the Quai Branly Museum!
Not a garden à la française
Before visiting the museum, do not miss out on the garden. Gilles Clément, a French landscape gardener, was inspired by a turtle while constructing this garden. Have fun finding the contours of its shell!
In this garden you will find no exotic plants, but you might find some weeds. Indeed, the gardeners are not allowed to use any pesticides so the garden can develop by itself. Also do not forget to return to the garden at night when you will be able to witness another amazing spectacle: « L’Ô » by Yann Kersalé. Tens of little sticks representing water will light up and give you the impression of being in another dimension. The final green touch: the plant-covered wall of Patrick Blanc! 15,000 plants, 150 different species, 800 m²…
Visiting this exceptional museum in France
While visiting the garden, look up and admire the unique architecture of the building, especially the colourful boxes.
The museum was constructed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, already known for achievements such as the Palace of Justice in Nantes or H&M on the Champs-Elysées. The museum is built around a tower full of musical instruments that you can see (and sometimes even hear!) when walking up the ramp leading you to the collections. There you can choose to go directly into the department of the Oceanic arts. However, you can also opt to take the corridor, the ‘river’, leading you to another department.
Linger in the boxes to watch a music show or go upstairs to the other exhibition spaces. Little tip: do not hesitate to opt for a guided visit or take an audio-guide as the explanations in the museum are rather brief on some points.
An exceptional program of events in the French cultural area
The Quai Branly Museum is more than just a museum. It also promotes the exchange of cultures.
Besides conferences and classes you can attend for free, the museum offers outstanding performances. For example, the Museum recently staged an interpretation of ‘Swan Lake’ by the South-African choreographer Dada Masilo.
Another event to enjoy is ‘Before’, mostly designed for young people between 18 and 30. Regularly organised, this event allows you to visit the museum for free and discover the last exhibitions such as ‘The Art of Hair’ as was the case on the 9th of November.
You missed it? Don’t panic! The next ‘Before’ is planned on the 18th January 2013. This time, you can discover the exhibition ‘Nigeria, Arts of the Bénoué valley’.
1. Musée du Quai Branly, official site.
2. Plan et explications du jardin du Musée Branly.
3. Programmation des ‘Before’ au Musée du Quai-Branly.
1. Musée du Quai Branly (Paris), by Dalbera on Flickr.
2. Musée du Quai Branly, interior, by Florian Bourgoin on Flickr.
3. Martial Arts at Musée du Quai Branly, by Mark Iverson on Flickr.