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- THE DRAGON OF CALAIS, A NEW ADDITION TO LA MACHINE COMPANY
- Calais, Hauts-de-France
- January 2020 (now open)
Freed from the subterranean worlds, the ‘Dragon of Calais’ headed for the city. This giant dragon was conceived by La Machine de Nantes and built by La Machine Company, and carries visitors through town and along the seafront. By 2023, other fantastic creatures will be descending on Calais to create a unique urban universe. A permanent creation, the dragon is 15 metres high and able to transport up to 60 passengers at a time.
- FOLLOWING THE ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES IN PARIS, THE BASSINS DE LUMIÈRES IN BORDEAUX
- A new digital art museum
- Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
- 10 June 2020 (now open)
After the success of the launch of the Atelier des Lumières and its Klimt exhibition in Paris, the city of Bordeaux entrusted Culturespaces with the management of its famous submarine base, a remnant of the Second World War. A symbol of the Bassins à Flot district, this enormous bunker is five times larger than the Atelier des Lumières in Paris – covering 11,000 square metres with some areas measuring up to 12 metres high, 100 metres long and 22 metres wide – and is one of the world’s largest multimedia installations. The Bassins de Lumières holds digital exhibitions specifically adapted to the monumental architecture of the submarine base. From February 2021 to January 2022 there will be an exhibition dedicated to Monet, Renoir and Chagall.
- LES QUAIS DE LUTECE
- Parc Astérix, Hauts-de-France
- 14 June 2020 (now open)
Discover the banks of the Seine in 50 BC! The very first four-star hotel in Parc Astérix opened in spring and will take visitors back to Astérix and Obélix’s time, in the town of Lutèce.
- THE WORLD’S LARGEST URBAN FARM
- Versailles, Paris, Île-de-France
- 18 June 2020 (now open)
Paris became home to the largest urban farm in the world with the transformation of 150,700 square feet of rooftop space above the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. It is estimated that the farm will produce 1,000 fruits and vegetables each day and grow 30 different varieties of plants. The farm will also offer workshops for the public and feature garden plots that locals can lease to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs. A rooftop restaurant and bar from Le Perchoir, the group that owns a chain of trendy rooftop venues across Paris, will serve up a menu featuring produce harvested from the farm.
- LILLE METROPOLE: 2020 WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL
- Lille, Hauts-de-France
- September 2020 – September 2021 (updated dates)
The World Design Capital (WDC) is handpicked every two years by the World Design Organisation, to recognise a city’s innovative use of design to strengthen economic, social, cultural and environmental development. The World Design Capital provides a platform to showcase best practices in design-led urban policy and innovation in different domains including public transport, sustainable infrastructure, demographic evolution, mobility, renewable energies and inclusive governance. Following Mexico City in 2018, Lille Metropole is taking over and is the first French city to become World Design Capital.
- REOPENING OF PALAIS GALLIERA, HOME TO THE FIRST PERMANENT FASHION EXHIBITION IN FRANCE
- Museum renovation and new permanent exhibition
- Paris, Île-de-France
- 1 October 2020 (now open)
After a four-year renovation, Paris’ Palais Galliera fashion museum has reopened. It is now home to the first permanent fashion exhibition in France in 2020, exclusively sponsored by Chanel. Chanel has partnered with the city of Paris to finance the construction of the permanent exhibition rooms and gallery, which will be called The Gabrielle Chanel Rooms, at an estimated cost of €5.7 million. Located in the basement of the Palais Galliera, this 670-square-metre area offers the general public a space open all year round, dedicated to the history of fashion from the 18th century to the present day. The project also includes the creation of a learning workshop and a bookshop. The ground floor of the museum will continue to be dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
- THE 9TH VENDÉE GLOBE SETS SAIL
- Les Sables-d’Olonne, Pays de la Loire
- 8 November 2020 (in progress)
The world’s toughest solo round-the-world sailing race departed from the port of Les Sables-d’Olonne on 8 November. British skipper Alex Thomson has invested in a new £5m boat for the race, which takes place every four years. It is also the first year in which three female British skippers – Pip Hare, Samantha Davies and Miranda Merron – have taken part, making it a key race for women in an otherwise male-dominated sport.
- A MODERN ART MUSEUM AT FONTEVRAUD
- New museum
- Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, Pays de la Loire
- 19 December 2020 (postponed from June)
A new museum of modern art will open at Fontevraud Abbey following a vast donation by private collectors Martine and Léon Cligman, including 19th– and 20th-century works by artists Corot, Dubuffet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Derain and Delaunay. Under the directorship of Dominique Gagneux, the museum will open in the former stables, known as the ‘Fannerie’, and is intended to receive the ‘Musée de France’ label. Fontevraud is the largest collection of monastic buildings in France, burial place of three English royals – Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine – and today a cultural centre. The on-site hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel guests have access to the abbey all night long.
- NARBO VIA, A NEW ANTIQUE MUSEUM
- New museum
- Narbonne, Occitanie
- December 2020 – date to be confirmed
The Narbo Via museum will be the new landmark of the city of Narbonne in southern France, once an important Roman port. Designed by Norman Foster from Foster+Partners (who also created the Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes, which opened in June 2018), the new 8,000-square-metre antique museum will honour the town’s remarkable archaeological collection, charting its antique heritage and displaying as many as 25,000 individual exhibits. It is one of France’s most important ongoing contemporary architectural projects, with a remarkably light framework and a transparent, undulating façade.