The president of Var announces a modern and contemporary art museum for Toulon

During his greetings ceremony on January 11, 2024, Jean-Louis Masson, president of the Var departmental council, presented his roadmap for the new year. The opportunity to announce the major directions taken by the Department in terms of cultural policy. Among the advanced projects, that of a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art in Toulon is attracting attention.

The project is ambitious: “we need a strong identification of the territory”declared Jean-Louis Masson. “We want to create a museum of modern and contemporary art in Toulon, with the idea of ​​competing with those of large European cities, such as Milan or Barcelona. We are aiming for international recognition”.

Still in its gestational state, the project remains unclear for the moment. Only a few details were provided by the Department and taken up by Nice-Matin. Part of the museum would highlight departmental heritage collections, while another would be dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Digital art should also be highlighted with the integration of a digital house, which would present works on digital media and organize virtual tours with 3D headsets.

The museum would house a fund of five hundred works, estimated at 10 million euros, which the Department has had since the time when it managed the Hôtel des Arts in Toulon, transferred in 2020 to the Métropole. This collection, kept in several storage locations, can only be seen by the public during temporary loans. It includes paintings, frescoes, sculptures and photographs by renowned artists, such as Jannis Kounellis, Zao Wou-Ki, Georg Baselitz and Jacqueline Salmon.

Several site proposals were examined to accommodate this museum project. The final choice is expected in June 2024. No other date has been put forward by Jean-Louis Masson, even if it seems unlikely that the project will be completed by the end of his mandate, in March 2028. .

Jean-Louis Masson has been president of the Var departmental council since October 2022, following the conviction of his predecessor Marc Giraud for a fictitious employment case. A member of the Republicans, he was mayor of La Garde, his hometown, from 2001 to 2017 then from 2020 to 2022.

The City manages the National Maritime Museum as well as the Art Museum, labeled Musée de France, which presents a collection of ancient, modern, contemporary and Asian art. The Department administers the Muséum Départemental du Var, a natural history museum.

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