Two Years After Its Grand Reopening, Mold Creeps Into Paris’s Picasso Museum

Concerns about mold in the galleries were first raised in 2014.

The Musée Picasso in Paris. Photo by Pol, public domain.

Wandrille Potez, an art history student, has complained publicly about the appearance of mold across the recently renovated Picasso Museum in Paris, which he spotted during a visit, Le Parisien reports.

Concerns over the mold were first raised mere months after the museum’s reopening in October 2014, yet the museum claimed that the mold was not a risk to people or works in the museum and no action was taken to address the concerns.

However, this has led to many questioning why the museum’s renovation—which took fiver years and cost a whopping $66 million—did not take precautions to avoid mold, a common issue with Paris’s cold, damp winters.

The fungus problem is due to weak air circulation between the cold outdoors and heated interior galleries. In the museum’s first floor, 12 large period windows are now eaten by mold due to a particularly poorly designed double glazing.

“They are certainly period frames. But how can they allow it all to be degraded, two years after the end of the renovation?,” Potez told Le Parisien.

An invigilator told the French newspaper that he had already alerted the CHSCT (the health and safety committee).

“We’re dealing with it,” he said. “The visual aspect is deplorable for the visitors. But, in addition, one does wonder whether the mold could spread through the air conditioning system”.

According to Artforum, the final decision may be up to French courts who will decide which party is responsible and will then be charged with resolving the issue. The parties in question are the architecture firm, the design firm, and the general contractor.

The Musée Picasso houses one of the largest Picasso collections in the world and is visited by international and domestic tourists alike.

Between 1979 and 1985, the architect Roland Simounet designed and oversaw the conversion of the 17th-century Hotel Salé, the Marais district, into the museum.

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