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Night of the Museums

April 30, 2014

By Florian


If you are expecting to see a giant living T-Rex skeleton or small toy soldiers come alive, well then sorry for the utter disappointment, but you will not be spending a Night at the Museum. In Paris, as in all the main European cities, May 17th is the Night of the Museums, where the main museums are generally free from 6pm to midnight. So if Ben Stiller and Robin Williams are planning to spend some days in Paris at that time, you might spot them, but chances are almost as slim as spotting a live T-Rex fetching a bone… One thing is for sure though, you will be able to spot some very interesting works of art in the major (and not so major) museums of Paris. Here are some of the best spots.


Here is a list of some of the things that are happening in the main museums of Paris on the Night of the Museums:

Louvre: The closing time is exceptionally postponed to midnight, in order for you to admire the 2 women of the Louvre (Mona Lisa & Venus de Milo) or any part of this enormous museum.

Musée d’Orsay: Official lecturers of the Musée d’Orsay will present and comment some of the famous artworks of the museum during the night.

Pompidou: 4 events are programmed at the Centre Pompidou, including a projection of a fragment of Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” (a 24h movie involving clocks and time)

Invalides: Napoleon’s tomb under the iconic massive golden dome is free.

Grand Palais: The closing time will be at midnight for exhibitions Bill Viola and Moi, Auguste, Empereur de Rome.


If you feel like listening to some music and still get to be inside a museum, here are some of the museums offering a musical interlude:

Cité de la Musique: the current temporary exhibition Great Black Music will be open until midnight. A concert will be held inside the museum

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris: A music animation is offered, with percussionist Michael Metzler

Musée de la Vie Romantique : A musical soirée is planned between 8 and 10 pm

Musée du Quai Branly : DJ set in this state-of-the-art museum of primitive arts

Out of the Ordinary

Some museums in Paris have decided to offer something special for their guests on the Night of the Museums:

Petit Palais: Art nouveau drawing atelier for adolescents and adults from 6:30 to 9:30pm:.

Pinacothèque: Murder Party around the current exhibition theme “Mythe de Cléopatre” (the myth of Cleopatra). From 7:30pm to midnight (28 place de la Madeleine)

Musée Carnavalet: Théatre plays will be performed in the museum’s gardens from 7pm to 10:45 pm. The hall on Paris in the 18th century will also be open

Musée de Cluny : Exclusive access to the terrace of the garden of the Museum of the Middle-Ages.

Off the Beaten Path

There are plenty of museums in Paris, and some of them are participating in the Night of Museums. Here are some of the off the beaten tracks museums open on May 17th:

Musée Gustave Moreau : Gustave Moreau was a 19th century French painter. He lived and worked in Paris, his workshop has since then become a museum. The museum offers a free visit of the artists’ workshop.

Musée Curie: Pierre and Marie Curie have won the Nobel Physics Prize for their work on Radiation, and Marie Curie received the Nobel Chemistry Prize for her work on Polonium and Radium. On the Night of the Museums, the museum will host an investigation game for the young.

Musée du Luxembourg : L’Ecole Boulle, a design and fine arts school in Paris with international fame, will host an event called l’Ecole Boulle met en scène le détail (“Ecole Boulle stages detail”).

Musée du Service de Santé des Armées : The permanent exhibition is open late, and features the history of the doctors and medical department in the French military.

Cultural Centers

There are many international cultural centers in Paris. Here are some of those that offer something special for the Night of the Museums:

Denmark @ 142 Avenue des Champs Elysées : late night opening

Germany @ 17 Avenue d’Iéna:  Jazz concert at the Goethe Institute

Vietnam @19bis Rue Albert: Traditional Vietnamese music and photo exhibition.

Sweden @ 11 rue de Payenne: Free visit of the cultural center and the temporary exhibition.

Ireland @ 5 rue des Irlandais: Free access to the temporary exhibition Wilde Art.

Canada @ 5 Rue de Constantine: Free access to exhibition Get a Hold of This Space.


If you want to know more about what is happening during the Night of the Museums, please click here.

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