PARIS (Reuters) - After three years of renovation, Paris’ Musee Rodin reopens its doors this week, with new displays of the French sculptor’s works.
Right in the middle of the French capital, the Hotel Biron and its garden were used by Auguste Rodin in the years leading up to his death in 1917 and boasts versions of his “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” - two of the world’s best-known sculptures.
The mansion attracts 700,000 visitors a year and has needed 16 million euros ($17 million) worth of renovation, including urgent repairs to the floor and overhauling its interior design.
The museum now boasts a new layout, and previously unseen works as well as paintings from Rodin’s personal collection, including paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch.
“(Visitors) will see an improved visibility of the works thanks to the (display) furniture which allows more works to be shown,” museum director Catherine Chevillot said.
The new layout and different lighting on some displays allows visitors to get very close to the sculptures, she said.
The project was partly paid by casting new bronzes from original moulds, Chevillot said.
“The (French) state made a decisive contribution, nearly half of the budget. The rest came from our own private means, the sale of bronzes by Rodin,” she said.
“We are rather unique among French museums, we own the rights of the artist to continue to make original bronzes.”
The museum reopens on Nov. 12, which would have been Rodin’s 175th birthday.
Reporting by Reuters Television in Paris; Editing by Louise Ireland