What to do with the old Guimet Museum? In Lyon, this is the 25 million euro question: the sum estimated to rehabilitate the empty museum, since its collections were transferred in 2007 to the Musée des Confluences. A meeting held Thursday, September 14 at city hall presented five scenarios for the city’s former natural history museum: among them, the possibility of a sale ” To the best offer “ received a frosty welcome from the mayor of the 6th arrondissement, where the building is located, but also from the deputy for Culture of the municipal majority, Nathalie Perrin Gilbert.
“The sale of the Guimet Museum would create a big conflict in the executive, and […] for my part I would leave my position if that was the option chosen”announced the elected official following this meeting, questioned by Lyon Capital. The reactivation of this place closed to the public for 15 years is one of the priorities of the deputy mayor of Lyon: during the winter of 2022, the Guimet Museum hosted part of the Contemporary Art Biennale, then in the spring 2023, it exhibited the works of street artist Shephard Fairey. Two demonstrations very positively received by the Lyonnais.
Sylvain Godinot, heritage assistant, put on the table the possibility of making the Guimet Museum a reserve center for the region’s museums: a solution where the museum remains within the city, but without opening it to the public. An elected official from the 6th arrondissement, for his part, proposed making the premises available to the Center Pompidou during its work campaign.
Nathalie Perrin-Gilbert has been defending the idea of a cultural place for young people since the start of the current term, a proposal appreciated by the mayor of the 6th arrondissement, Pascal Blache (LR). The latter also rejects any private sale: “We are a little at the end of the Guimet adventure”he confided to the Lyon Tribune, deploring the absence of concrete elements for the museum. Over the past 15 years, several disappointments have thwarted plans to reconvert the former natural history museum, notably the installation of the Dance Workshops within its walls.