Get ready for France’s ‘Night of the Museums’

There's a great opportunity to see France's museums as you've never seen before, with many opening late to offer behind-the-scenes access, shows and other special events on Saturday.

Get ready for France's 'Night of the Museums'
Photo: ChMN (Château-Musée de Nemours)/Nuit des Musees

“La Nuit des Musées” (Long Night of the Museums) on Saturday, May 21st, will see museums and other cultural sites including castles open late to the public – the vast majority free of charge.

Over 1,200 museums are participating, 150 in Paris alone, with behind-the-scenes access to the exhibits as well as events including workshops, dances and family-friendly activities at numerous sites.

Many tourist favourites are among them, including the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou and the Palace of Versailles where there will be equestrian shows. The Musee d'Orsay will host a big band, while there will be a ball at the Immigration Museum.

But it's not just the capital that gets to join in; there's plenty going on up and down the country too. Visit the official website to see what's happening near you.

The Louvre at night. Photo: AFP

Most sites are keeping their doors open from 6pm until midnight, but if there's a particular show or exhibit you want to see, be sure to check the programme here.

You can try to pack in several museums or focus on seeing all the exhibits in your favourite spot, but bear in mind that public transport and the bigger museums will likely be most crowded at the start and end of the evening.

Photo: Cinémathèque Française/Nuit des Musees

Yes, there will be queues. But it will be worth it for the extra effort the museums put on during this evening with performances, temporary exhibitions, and interactive activities.

The Long Night of the Museums is a Europe-wide initiative now in its 12th year.

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Revamped Rodin museum reopens in Paris

A jewel of the Paris art landscape is ready to return. After getting a three-year long makeover the Rodin museum in Paris is finally set to reopen this week.

Revamped Rodin museum reopens in Paris
Photo: AFP

The French prime minister on Monday inaugurated the revamped Rodin Museum in Paris, which is set to open to the public later
this week following three years of renovation work.

The museum, dedicated to the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, famed for his statue “The Thinker”, is one of the country's most popular museums with around 700,000 visitors a year.

(Prime Minister Manuel Valls tours the revamped Rodin Museum. Photo: AFP)

French premier Manuel Valls recalled visiting the museum with his artist father and hailed the sculptor's determination to present “his vision, how things really are” in the face of convention.

The historic Hotel Biron, which has housed the museum since 1919, underwent ba complete overhaul over the last three years, for the first time since Rodin himself used it as his Paris studio until his death in 1917.

The museum said the new layout will highlight Rodin's creative development and allow some works to be brought out of storage and displayed for the first time.

It reopens to the public on Thursday.

(Photo: AFP)