If you’re visiting France but would rather look at skeletons than Seurat, you’ll be glad to know that the Musee de l'Homme (Museum of Man) in Paris has re-opened its curiosity-filled corridors to the public after a six-year hiatus.
Located across the Seine river from the Eiffel Tower, the renowned anthropological museum first opened in 1937 and boasts one of the world’s largest arrays of prehistoric artifacts. Its fate was thrown into limbo in 2003, when former French president Jacques Chirac moved half of its ethnographic collections to Paris’s Quai Branly Museum. After many of its remaining items were shipped to Marseille’s MuCEM museum, the museum faced a dwindling number of visitors—and a crisis in purpose.
In 2009, the museum was closed for an extensive renovation that cost more than $103 million. Now, the newly refurbished institution boasts a modernized interior and brand-new exhibits, as well as 700,000 prehistoric and 30,000 anthropological objects that together tell the tale of humanity’s history and evolution.
Visitors can check out the skull of a Cro-Magnon next to the head of René Descartes. Also on display are an assortment of 19th-century human busts and a 25,000-year-old ivory statuette called the Venus of Lespugue. The museum’s contents aren’t entirely mired in the past, though: Newer ethnological artifacts, like a Senegalese bus from 1960, and an interactive exhibit of 30 of the world’s 7000 languages help shape the much larger—and still unfinished—narrative of where we’re heading as a global community.
Take a virtual tour of the Museum of Man in the video above.
[h/t The Guardian]
Image via YouTube.