French Billionaire to Open a Private Museum in Parisian Exchange Building

Shaunacy Ferro

A historic exchange building in Paris is getting a makeover as a major art gallery. François Pinault, billionaire founder of Kering, the company that owns Gucci and a host of other luxury brands, plans to open a museum in the Bourse du Commerce in central Paris to showcase his vast art collection, The Art Newspaper reports.

The Wall Street Journal has called Pinault “the single most powerful art collector in the world,” and he’s regularly placed at the top of annual lists of contemporary art power players. Pinault (also father-in-law to Salma Hayek) opened his first private gallery in Venice, Palazzo Grassi, in 2006, to showcase what was then a collection of 2000 artworks by everyone from Piet Mondrian to Damien Hirst. He founded another private gallery in Venice in 2009.

Pinault speaks at a press conference announcing the museum's opening.

The 18th century building that will be home to Pinault’s first Parisian museum is located just around the corner from the Louvre. Once used for commodities trading, it has been leased by the city of Paris to Pinault’s foundation for the next 50 years, and will be renovated by Japanese architect Tadao Ando for the museum's late 2018 opening.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

All images by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images