Brignoles, the museum begins a large-scale renovation

Located in Brignoles (18,000 inhabitants) in the Var department, the Musée des Comtes de Provence is going to have a makeover. Closed since Thursday, December 21, the museum is embarking on a major renovation project which will take place over several years.

Labeled “Musée de France”, the museum is located in the heart of the old town, in the former Palace of the Counts of Provence, classified as a Historic Monument. Open to the public since 1949, it was initially named the Musée du pays Brignolais, before coming under the supervision of the Provence Verte agglomeration in 2017.

The museum had already closed for a few months for upgrading and repair work, before reopening in spring 2014. The construction site promises to be more important this time: the palace, some parts of which date from the 13th century, but also the Le Guerrec house and the Champey house (currently in ruins) require major restoration work. It is a complex of more than 1,500 m² which must be renovated to accommodate the museum, the organization of which will be completely redesigned. Éric Vieux, the director of the museum, insists on the need to “bring the museum up to date, imagine a museography and a scenography that will speak to current generations”.

Rethinking the museum journey first involves moving the collections, which include more than 2,500 works and objects from local and Provençal culture. Everything will be transferred to external reserves during the work. Among the museum’s flagship works, we find the Gayolle sarcophagus, one of the oldest sarcophagi in Christianity dating from the 3rd century. The museum also has a large collection of ex-votos, a reinforced cement boat by Joseph Lambot as well as a set of paintings by Joseph Parrocel – painter of the battles of Louis XIV – and the Provençal painter Frédéric Montenard.

The cost of the renovation project is estimated at around thirteen million euros, which will be covered by the Provence Verte agglomeration. The reopening of the museum is currently planned for 2028.

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