Paris Travel Planner   Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris
Paris has long been a center of art and creativity, and the creation of Monumenta at the Grand Palais is another wonderful example of this.




The Grand Palais of Paris, a huge steel and glass structure built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, is an amazing feat of engineering and artistry. With a rounded dome that is 45 meters (148 feet) high and 13,000 square meters (140,000 square feet) of exhibit space, it is a graceful and elegant and HUGE structure.

So what do you do with such a venue? Since 2007 the Grand Palais has invited artists to exhibit massive works of art in this amazing space. Visitors have not only the opportunity to see unique and amazing works of art, but also to appreciate the architecture and artistry of the Grand Palais itself.

The 2016 Monumenta offering was Empires, by Huang Yong Ping. This work more than amply fills the space, with its 254 meter (833 feet) long metal snake that weaves among "hills" and valleys made from giant shipping containers. In the midst of it all, a huge replica of Napoléon's cocked hat sits atop piles of containers. It is said to represent globalization (containers), and power struggles (hat), while the snake is both threatening and shows the cyclical nature of glory and destruction.

Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris

Previous Monumenta exhibits have included works by Anselm Kiefer, Richard Serra, Christian Boltanski, Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.

It's sometimes hard to decide if you enjoy the work of art of the building more. Fortunately you don't have to decide; you can walk around the entire space, climb the ornate art nouveau staircase for a broader view of the masterpiece, and admire the 9,000 tons of steel that make up the structure of the Grand Palais, with graceful curving lines and lovely artistic details. The visit is unstructured and allows you to take it all in at your own pace.

The next Monumenta is anticipated in 2018, based on a biennial schedule (normally in the spring/early summer). Stay tuned to see what the next offering will be!

Métro: Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Champs Élysées-Clémenceau
Bus: 28, 42, 52, 63, 72, 80, 83, 93,

Grand Palais
1 Avenue Géneral Eisenhower (map)
75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 [0]1 44 13 17 30
Métro: Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau

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Grand Palais


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Above, Anish Kapoor's Leviathan, Monumenta 2012.

Below, Plenty of room to walk through the snake—and even touch it—at Empires.

Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris, France



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