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Six of the best exhibitions in Paris this summer

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Six of the best exhibitions in Paris this summer
Tutankhamun's treasures at La Villette in Paris. Photo:AFP.
17:30 CEST+02:00
Paris is a city for art lovers, and also for people who just enjoy looking at a pretty painting. Every second street is full of galleries and museums. But where to begin? Here's our pick of some of the more interesting expos in Paris at the moment.

The Obvious One: Tutankhamun, The Treasure of the Pharaoh, Grande Halle de la Villette, until September 15th.

Everyone loves a bit of King Tut’s golden opulence. This exhibition features more than 150 objects from the Boy Pharaoh’s tomb, many of which have never been taken out of Egypt before. And it is a brief and unique opportunity to see them, as they will be returning to Egypt for the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in 2022. Tutankhamun was a Pharaoh in the 14th century, he is thought to have died at the age of just 18. His tomb was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter and the world has been obsessed with it ever since.

The Classic One: Hammershoi, the master of Danish painting, Musée Jacuemart-Andre, until July 22th.

Before you even look at the Hammershoi exhibition, you will be blown away by this ridiculously stunning museum. It was formally the private mansion of Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart and features its own state apartments and even an Italian museum. It also has one of the nicest cafés in Paris, a room you will not want to leave. As for the Danish master, Vilhelm Hammershoi is something of a Paris favourite, but it has been over 20 years since there was a big exhibition of his work here. His work is poetic and emotional, and sometimes a little mysterious. He also visited Paris twice, first in 1889 when he was 25 years old and then in 1900, and these visits feature in this exhibition.

The Interactive One: Coup de Foudre, Fondation EDF, Until October 20th.

This is likely to be the most fun you will have at a serious art exhibition in a very long time. Artists Fabrice Hyber and Nathalie Talec have deconstructed the traditional formal gallery space and replaced it with a playground, but one that asks very real questions. You can dress up in a skeleton or a wedding dress and dance like nobody’s watching. You can sit on the wrong side of a deconstructed rocking chair and land on the floor with an impressively loud crash (or keep your dignity, it's up to you). You can pull the strings of a giant puppet. You can write on the walls. You can stand in a black room in the middle of a lightning storm. You can laugh out loud - and you will. Your senses will be challenged, they will be electrified.

The One with a Garden - Georges Dorignac, Musée de Montmartre, Until September 8th.

When the summer sun finally arrives in Paris and you need to escape the sweltering streets and the pushing hordes of tourists, one of the best places to hide out is in a museum. And an even better place is a museum with a garden. The museum in Montmartre boasts not one but three special gardens dedicated to Renoir, as the impressionist artist actually lived there for two years in the 1870s. There’s even a café. If the sun gets too much, you can stroll inside to see an impressive exhibition of work by Georges Dorignac. Dorignac arrived in Montmartre in 1901 and quickly became part of its more cosmopolitan elements, his influences ranging from Modigliani to Seurat. For this show running, the museum is presenting many works which have never been shown in public before.

The One Set in the Middle of the Sea: Oceania, Musée du Quai Branly, Until July 7th.

Over 250 years since Captain James Cook made his first voyage to the Pacific, this remarkable exhibition captures glorious tribal and traditional art from the disparate islands in a region that actually encompasses one-third of the earth’s surface. Oceania features 170 works from public collections worldwide, including battle canoes and burial vessels and ritual offerings, and spans over 500 years. It reveals a world that most of us have never experienced, a life on the sea and ruled by the sea.

The One Everyone is Waiting For: Leonardo da Vinci, The Louvre, October 24th - February 24th 2020.

Without question the most hotly anticipated exhibition in recent years is this tribute to the Florentine master on the 500th anniversary of his death. Artist, scientist, philosopher, inventor... da Vinci was a true polymath and this exhibition aims to encapsulate the man in all his elements as the Louvre’s researchers have spent the last decade studying his life. Da Vinci died in France, which explains why so many of his key paintings are here. And the Louvre has five of the best, including St John the Baptist and that little known portrait of a woman who may or may not be smiling, Mona Lisa. These paintings will be joined by many of their siblings for what promises to be an unmissable show. Book early.    

Did we miss your personal favourite? Tell us your recommendations by emailing The Local.

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