Ground breaks on Paris 'immigration museum'
PARIS, Oct 2, 2006 (AFP) – Work officially opened Monday on a new museum of immigration to open next year in Paris in keeping with a campaign promise by President Jacques Chirac.
The museum, which will stage its first exhibition next April, is to be sited in the “Palais de la Porte Dore” an art deco building in the east of the French capital originally constructed for France's “Colonial Exhibition” of 1931.
Following the changes in the political climate, it has since been a museum of the colonies, then a museum of overseas France, and most recently a museum of African and Oceanic art.
In 2003 the museum closed and its collection was transferred to the new Quai Branly museum of tribal art that opened earlier this year.
Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said the new museum would be “a place of memory to be sure, but also a place of reflexion, of sharing, of learning and communication on the considerable role played by immigration and immigrants in our history.”