Orléans: the Museum of Fine Arts will close in 2027 for two years in order to be renovated

The project of renovation of the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts is now back on track. A representative – the company SETEC – has just been appointed to conduct the programming studies and support the work which are announced colossal, since they will require completely closing the museum to the public at the beginning of 2027. And this for a period of at least two years, with reopening being considered.by 2029-2030“.

Upgrade and open up

A major project, therefore, even if the financial cost has not yet been decided – it would be between 15 and 25 million euros – and even if the scenography as such will not be disrupted : it must be said that most of the rooms have already been refurbished in recent years. This will not prevent us from gaining exhibition spaces here and there and therefore being able to present more works, but that is not the main objective of this renovation. The transformation concerns both technical and aesthetic aspects.

The Orléans Museum of Fine Arts is currently very isolated: one of the challenges of its renovation will be to make it more visible from the outside © Radio France
Anne Oger

We actually have a double challengeexplain William ChancerelleDeputy for Culture in Orléans. First of all, it involves bringing the building, which dates from 1984, up to standard in terms of heating, air conditioning, accessibility, security and fire risk. The other issue is the visibility of the museum: it is currently too isolated, to the point that some Orléans residents do not know where it is, which is dramatic when we know the value of the collections.“How can we open up the building? By recovering space in the old tourist office (which moved to Place du Martroi) but also under the arcades – the idea is in particular to set up a café-restaurantwhich requires the agreement of the Architect of Buildings of France, due to the proximity of the cathedral.

Some works will be loaned during the closure

Another big challenge of this project: how to manage the two years (minimum) of closure? A large part of the approximately 2,000 paintings, 700 sculptures and 10,000 drawings will have to be stored in a suitable location, which remains to be identified. But certain works will be loaned all over the world : “This is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts.underlines the mayor Serge Grouard. We are in the process of organizing this “nomadism” of collections, by signing conventions. And I can assure you that many museums are interested“. Agreements have already been reached with museums in the United States and Japan. Another solution, less exotic: certain works will be temporarily transferred to other museums in Orléans, notably to the Hôtel Cabu.

Olivia Voisin, the director of the Orléans museums, next to one of the jewels of the Museum of Fine Arts: Diego Velázquez’s “Saint Thomas” © Radio France
Pierre-Antoine Lefort

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