The restoration of the sculptures of the Grand Palais
This architectural and technical project, that is both understated and ambitious, will bring the Grand Palais to life again by rediscovering the places blocked off over time. It will also enable the monument to meet the requirements of its time (regarding standards and accessibility for example), and will project the Grand Palais and the Palais de la découverte into the future thanks to a completely redesigned experience for the public.
The exterior renovation of the building will start in the 2nd quarter of 2021. Since 2018, nets have protected the sculptures of the Grand Palais, highly deteriorated. The renovation will be the opportunity to restore completely this unique collection.
The building itself was highly modern for its time : in 1900, it inaugurated a new relationship with art by having its facades decorated by different artists, different styles and multiple forms of expression as well as materials, like stone, bronze, ceramic or mosaics. The statues, mostly figurative, all reflect highly symbolic themes: the arts, industrial or agricultural engineering, music, painting, inspiration, Greek art, Roman art, the Renaissance...
The façade of the Grand Palais on Franklin Delano Roosevelt Avenue has ten stately statues that are amongst the most emblematic of the monument. They are much damaged and will be completely restored thanks to the exclusive support of Domaine Clarence Dillon.
Domaine Clarence Dillon was founded in 1935 and owns Bordeaux wine estates. The family business also owns the two-star restaurant, Le Clarence, and a French wine and spirits store, La Cave du Château, established in a 19th century private mansion on Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue next to the Grand Palais. As a close neighbour, Domaine Clarence Dillon wanted to support the restoration of all of the statuary on the façade of the Grand Palais on Franklin Roosevelt Avenue. During the entire Grand Palais’ restoration work, artisans will have to clean, strip or even replace the stone too damaged on every statue.
This major restoration will be the opportunity to use the specialist expertise of stonemasons, sculptors and restorers who must make high-quality facsimiles in workshops or directly on site. Numerous artisans, experts in ancestral exterior decoration and statuary restoration techniques, will use their exceptional skills for one of the largest patrimonial projects of the decade.
This project will also include a training program in order to encourage the employment of young qualified talents. It aims to give them the opportunity to use their knowledge to actual works of patrimonial restoration.
Contracting authority: Rmn – Grand Palais / Project partner: Universcience, for the Palais de la découverte / Project manager: Chatillon Architectes / François Chatillon, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments
Find out more about the Grand Palais sculptors: https://www.grandpalais.fr/pdf/DossierPedagogique_LesSculpteursDuGrandPalais.pdf
The restoration of the sculptures of the Grand Palais located on Franklin Roosevelt Avenue benefits from the support of Domaine Clarence Dillon.