Major Events & Developments of the CMN

Marie-Antoinette, metamorphoses of an image
Hôtel de la Marine, façade on Place de la Concorde
Hôtel de la Marine interior
Walled city of Carcassonne
Château d'Azay-le-Rideau
Panthéon, nave & apse - Paris
Press release

Centre des monuments nationaux - Major happenings & Developments

The Centre des Monuments Nationaux - National Monuments Center is a cultural organization dedicated to tourism, unique in its national dimension and the strength of its network. With almost 100 monuments open to visitors, we welcomed more than 10 million French and foreign visitors in 2018. Among our sites are the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, the chateaux of Angers and Azay-le-Rideau, the Arc de triomphe and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, to cite only a few.

These exceptional witnesses of centuries past are, for some, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and represent all the eras and types of architecture from the Paleolithic to modern times, such as the decorated caves of the Vézère, or Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye.

Marie-Antoinette, metamorphoses of an image

Do not miss this year, the exhibition "Marie-Antoinette, metamorphoses of an image", from October 16, 2019 to January 26, 2020 at the Conciergerie. It will plunge you into the profusion of representations that have seized the character, from her lifetime to present day. It is as if each era, each group had wanted to build "its" queen, from foreign traitor to martyr figure, from teenage heroine to bigoted mother, from woman of culture to fashion icon, or as if each country conceived its vision of Marie-Antoinette, popular in Japan, the United States, England and Italy. Even though seemed out of step with the France of her time, who understood her little, her figure did flourish in the cult imagery afterwards, and especially since a few years. Marie-Antoinette has become the most commented historical figure in books and biographies or films, most represented by contemporary artists, the most recycled in furniture, mirrors, dolls, mangas, novels, commercials or video games.

Why this profusion of images? Why does the fate of this princess lend itself to the many fantasies of today? No doubt because she has become the symbol of a femininity abused and condemned to misfortune. The exhibition illustrates and makes known, both historically and through a comparative and critical approach to forms, this global over-mediatization of Marie-Antoinette and her kitsch revival. Click here for details

Opening of the Hotel de la Marine

The Hôtel de la Marine (Hôtel meaning in this case mansion or palace) is located in the heart of the Place de la Concorde, one of the most beautiful in the world. It was built at the moment when the lasting foundations of France's influence in the world were created: a brilliant intellectual life , built around ideals and values, a very rich culture in all areas of artistic creation, the birth of a refined and inventive gastronomy. Having served as a Crown Furniture Storage and occupied for over two hundred years by the Navy following the French Revolution, the Hotel is preparing to live a new period in its history by opening its doors in July 2020.

It opens for the first time to the public 7 days out of 7 with an exceptional cultural offer. Accompanied by their Confident, a helmet offering spatial 3D sound, visitors are invited to an immersive visit of the sumptuous fully refurnished apartments and ceremonial living rooms allowing access to an open loggia on the Place de la Concorde. Several visit scenarios are offered - including one specially designed for families - for a tailor-made experience of 30 to 90 minutes. Finally, the exhibition gallery of the Hotel de la Marine presents for the first time permanently a renewed collection of masterpieces from the Al Thani Collection Foundation. The beauty of the architecture, the refinement of the decorations, the multiplicity of activities offered will allow the visitors to plunge into the intellectual and creative effervescence which was that of the eighteenth century and which, even today, is associated with the image from France. More than a classic heritage visit, you will be invited to a multi-sensory experience. Multiple correspondences will thus be formed between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, in a unique place that will have to establish itself as one of the hot spots of French culture and, as such, as one of the favorite tourist attractions of all lovers of Paris and France.


Victor Hugo, Freedom at the Pantheon - From April 22 to August 30, 2020 (to be confirmed)

135th anniversary of the death of Victor Hugo - In partnership with Victor Hugo House / Paris and Paris Museums. On May 22, 1885, Victor Hugo died in Paris. On June 1, 1885, a procession of more than two million people escorted his coffin from the Arc de triomphe to the Pantheon. This pantheonization is the apotheosis of one of the most important literary and political figures of the nineteenth century. This exhibition, held in Hugo’s final resting place, will present the key moments of the funeral to highlight its importance in the history of France’s Third Republic and in that of the monument. The purpose of the exhibition is to show how Liberty guided the life and work of Victor Hugo. It is the main theme around which the three great parts of the poet's life are articulated: before the exile, 1820-1851; during exile, 1851-1870; after the exile from 1871 until his death on May 22, 1885, and the main reason for his pantheonization. The exhibition is chronologically structured and in which come themes related to freedom: the death penalty, freedom to love, exile.


Carte blanche to Françoise Pétrovitch - From April 30 to August 30, 2020

In 2020, the Centre des monuments nationaux invites visual artist Françoise Pétrovitch for a carte blanche at Villa Savoye. She will create new works nourished by the evocation of the personality of Eugénie Savoye, for whom the villa was built in 1928, and in dialogue with the chromatic research of Corbusier. Françoise Pétrovitch, an artist born in 1964, visual artist working in drawing, painting, ceramics, video, is particularly famous for her wash, dilution of colors on paper.


Night shows all summer long

Discover Carcassonne, a medieval city classified as World Heritage by Unesco. Favor the month of August to have the chance to attend the second edition of "Carcassonne, the dream of an architect". From surveys to dreams, from enchanting images to the enchantment of dance, not forgetting the magic of a musical encounter, discover one of the wonders of the Middle Ages and fall under the charm of the City of Living Stones. This night show harmoniously uniting technologies and live shows is marked by three highlights: the magic of the monumental image on the facade of the Barbican, the poetry of the corps in the Cour d'honneur, then a musical surprise in the midday courtyard. The show tour ends with a walk on the ramparts offering a magical view of the city.

The Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey hosts the third part of the night show "The Mont’s Chronicles". Throughout an original journey in the bowels of an eternal place, discover its mysteries magnified by the technologies of the show. Let yourself be carried away by the cosmic forces at work to carve the Mount braving the sea. An unprecedented technological deployment throughout a one-hour night journey offering a succession of original scenography. A dive into a wonderful symphony of visions, flashes and sonic mirages.

Alternatively, head for Brittany and the city of Carnac, cradle of the largest megalithic site in the world. In its third edition, the site hosts this summer a night show filled with poetry: Skedanoz. At dusk, come and discover this place wrapped in the mystery of the penumbra. True "fields of memory" materializing a boundary, both physical and mental, Carnac’s Alignments still embody today a scientific challenge for archaeology: the idea of the ruined temple, appeared in the nineteenth century, gradually fades. Then appears a new notion, unpublished, the site of "passage", the threshold, marking the break between two spaces, two worlds. Discover the castle of Azay-le-Rideau, masterpiece of the Renaissance. The castle has prestigious historical decorations depicting 5 centuries of history and sumptuous collections of objects, tapestries and furniture. In the summer of 2020, enjoy an immersive show in the castle park that will delight young and old! After this summer's "Fantastic Nights", Explore Studio will present a new proposal for a magical show in the beautiful setting of the castle park.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
212 745 0967