In March 2021, after a hectic century of activity, the Grand Palais closed its doors to undergo its most extensive restoration ever. The work will continue until the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games when the nave and surrounding galleries will host the fencing and taekwondo competitions. Further work will continue through 2025 especially for the Palais de la Découverte section.
A masterpiece of metallurgy made of glass and iron, the Grand Palais is also an architecture of light and radiance. The Grand Palais restoration campaign is an opportunity to rediscover the gilding and bronzes of this building damaged by the passage of time. Thanks to the know-how and skills of prestigious restoration workshops, this restoration aims to restore its radiance to this emblematic monument in the heart of Paris. It will serve to highlight the artistry and innovation of France’s finest craftsmen much as it did when the palace was first inaugurated for the 1900 World’s Fair.
The whole building was constructed utilizing stone, steel and glass, and the framework required 8,500 tons of steel, which was more than what was used to build the Eiffel Tower. The Grand Palais was thus one of the first buildings to utilize steel over such a large area and ushered in the modern era for innovative construction materials and technics. The architects selected forty different contemporary artists to produce statues, friezes in ceramics and mosaics along with ornaments and other final embellishments including gilded and bronze works. The current restoration project is a showcase for skilled craftsmen and the continuation of traditional artisans’ work, also known as “patrimoine vivant” or living heritage, transmitted from one generation to the next. Once fully restored, the complex will once again serve as a major cultural venue for prominent national and international events in the heart of the city.
Gilding of the Rotunda of the Palais de la Découverte and certain decorative elements of the balustrade of the staircase of the Salon d’honneur of the Nave that will be restored with gold leaf to regain their former majesty.
$64,000 to date – ongoing campaign
The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Founations, Private donors