David Chipperfield’s Grand Musée Shelved

Grand Musée Boulingrin, Reims (artist's impression) Photo via: GMB website

Reims’s “Grand Musée Boulingrin” will never see the light of day, reports Le Journal des Arts. Although unanimously approved in 2012, the ambitious project to create a brand new, David Chipperfield-designed museum to host the city’s fine art collection has been deemed too costly by the city’s mayor. According to the museum’s supporters, the decision means that €5 million of public funds have been wasted.

Conceived by Chipperfield as a “three-nave sculpture,” the building was to focus particularly on Reims’ rich archaeological heritage, and feature several footbridges allowing visitors to see the excavation site of Boulingrin underneath. With over 11,287 square meters of floorspace, almost half of it dedicated to permanent displays, the museum was meant to cost €55 million, and be financed by both the state and the region.

Unsurprisingly, France’s dire economic situation is to blame. According to L’Hebdo du vendredi, the state reneged on its promise to grant €10 million to the new museum, and more cuts are to come.

Mayor Arnaud Robinet said that priority had to be placed on an aquatic park also being built in Reims. “We must finish this project, as it satisfies a demand, and more importantly responds to an important need. We’ll have to see if two major projects are doable, but it’ll be complicated.”

The mayor nonetheless said that Reims should have a proper museum. While the site of Boulingrin has been rejected, Robinet announced that he was due to meet the ministry of culture to discuss the idea.


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