The Haute-Savoie Departmental Council announced Thursday October 5 its intention to create a departmental museum within the Annecy Conservatory of Art and History. This museum will aim to “tell the history of Haute-Savoie through the different collections: fine arts, archaeology, intangible heritage, works of Haute-Savoie artists, natural sciences, decorative arts…”indicated the Departmental Council Journal of Arts.
According to the Department, this museum responds to a need expressed for a long time by cultural and tourist stakeholders in the region, who deplore the absence of equipment capable of attracting visitors beyond the attractions of Lake Annecy. However, other projects have been implemented to fill this gap, such as the rehabilitation of the Annecy national stud farm which is to host a city of animated cinema in 2025 or the application to host the contemporary art collection of Jean Claude Gandur, but which was not selected by the Swiss collector.
“There are departmental museums in most departments of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, except in four departments, including Haute-Savoie”specifies the Departmental Council. “We decided to remedy this and promote our large collections. » The neighboring department of Savoie has a history museum which has recently been renovated.
The Conservatory of Art and History, a historic five-story 17th century building, whose facades are listed, was purchased by the Department in 1973. The building currently houses the City’s cultural department, as well as offices of CITIA, a public establishment for cultural cooperation (EPCC) which organizes the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and the Mifa, and which will be gone ” at the latest “ in the spring of 2025 to move to the stud farm. The conservatory “was intended to offer exhibitions to Haut-Savoyards, but it lost this function over time”, despite the organization of exhibitions during European Heritage Days. The museum will therefore restore its original DNA (6).
The future departmental museum will extend over three floors including 2,900 m² of exhibition spaces, for a total surface area of 3,400 m². It will present the departmental collections which include more than 50,000 pieces linked to the history and territory of Haute-Savoie. Works from the Paul Payot collection will be particularly highlighted, as well as the ethnographic and archaeological collections of the territory. These collections currently inaccessible to the public will be enhanced by a permanent and “major temporary exhibitions of national scope”.
The museum will have reception, catering and mediation areas. A children’s gallery, a teenager’s studio and educational workshops will also be open. “The museum will have a strong educational dimension”specifies the Departmental Council.
The total cost of the interior design and renovation work amounts to 20 million euros, entirely financed by the Department. Work will begin in 2026 and be completed in 2027, with an opening planned for late 2027 or early 2028.