The Petit Palais Museum will take the name of Louvre in Avignon

The City of Avignon renews its partnership with the Louvre Museum. Cécile Helle, the mayor of Avignon, and Laurence des Cars, president and director of the Louvre, signed an agreement on April 2 about the Musée du Petit Palais, which has hosted 320 works by Italian primitives for nearly 50 years. This agreement strengthens the collaboration between the two institutions and the visibility of the Avignon museum, which will be renamed “Musée du Petit Palais – Louvre en Avignon” from 2025.

“Last year, the Petit Palais had fewer than 45,000 visitors while there were 770,000 at the Palais des Papes” recalls Cécile Helle, who hopes that this new name will encourage attendance at the museum. “It is not a question of ensuring that all visitors to the Palais des Papes come to the Petit Palais museum, but if there were already one in ten, or even one in five, we would be very happy”. An ambition shared by Fiona Lüddecke, the curator of the museum's collections, who emphasizes that “some locals are not even aware of the existence of this place which, despite being free, is not frequented enough. »

Room 16 of the Petit Palais Museum in Avignon.

© Empreinte d’Ailleurs

In addition to the new name, the agreement renews the Louvre's commitment to working to update the museographic journey of the Petit Palais and to continuing its advisory missions in terms of restoration and acquisition. “A certain number of projects will be carried out together, in particular the drafting of a scientific and cultural project for the museum, the organization of exhibitions and certainly new deposits” declared Laurence des Cars to Vaucluse Morning. The Petit Palais will also receive technical and financial assistance from the State, in view of the celebrations of Avignon Terre de Culture 2025 and the fifty years of the museum in 2026. A mission will notably be carried out by the DRAC PACA in the next weeks for “study the reorganization of spaces, the redesign of the museum route as well as the possibilities of renovating the building”.

The Petit Palais Museum is located in the former Archbishops' Palace, near the Palais des Papes in Avignon. It was created in 1976 on the initiative of Henri Duffaut, former mayor of Avignon, and Michel Laclotte, former president and director of the Louvre, to house the rich collection of Italian primitives established by the Marquis Campana in the 19th century. Designed as a pilot project, this important repository laid the foundations for cultural decentralization in France. The collection includes 320 paintings dating from the 13th to the 15th century, including The Angel of the Annunciation of Sano di Pietro (half of the 15th century) and The Virgin and Child by Sandro Botticelli (1470). The 3,000 m² museum also exhibits several works acquired under the Empire and part of the medieval collections deposited by the Calvet museum in Avignon.

The museum is currently closed to the public for maintenance and modernization work on its technical infrastructure. It will reopen on Thursday May 2, 2024.

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