Just thought some of you might be interested in this news. I know I’d love to visit the museum when it is done (gives me an excuse to make it back to Paris)!!!
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s biggest fashion group presented plans on Monday for a futuristic museum built out of glass to promote the heritage of its brands, promising the new Paris landmark would be a celebration of creativity.
French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said the 100 million euro ($127 million) museum would show the art that has influenced its designers from Christian Dior to Marc Jacobs.
The “Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation” will be housed in a glass-clad building soaring over the trees in the Bois de Boulogne park on the city’s western edge that Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry said was intended to resemble a cloud.
Critics immediately drew parallels between Arnault’s project and the museum plans of his arch rival in business, Francois Pinault, owner of the luxury Gucci Group.
Pinault, who also owns Christie’s auction house, unveiled his modern art collection earlier this year in Venice after attempts to build a museum on an island in the river Seine in Paris were thwarted by bureaucracy.
“It won’t be a purely contemporary art foundation,” said Arnault, knocking down comparisons with Pinault’s collection.
“Comparisons with other initiatives are not pertinent.”
Gehry, who designed the titanium-clad Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, said the commission for the Louis Vuitton building was like a dream.
“As I experienced the world, Paris became my favorite city,” said Gehry, 77. “So when a man who leads in fashion, who collects art that I love, invited me to Paris to do a building it was a heavenly assignment.”
Gehry said when he saw the site he thought of the writings of Marcel Proust and “wanted to cry with happiness.”
Arnault said the cost of the building to LVMH, which spends billions each year on advertising, would be spread over five years. He hoped construction could start next year and end before 2009.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said: “This is an enormous present for Paris, and for France’s image in the world.”
French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres promised the foundation would get favorable tax treatment.
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