In the heart of Paris's museum land, neighbouring the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, a few minutes from the Grand and Petit Palais, the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac has an exceptional location on the banks of the River Seine, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The arts of Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas now form part of the historical and artistic grand tour of the capital. The Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac is an innovative cultural institution - museum, educational and research centre, and public living space all in one. Built on one of the last available sites in the heart of Paris, the architectural design of this original project is the work of Jean Nouvel.
A museum of non-Western arts
During the 20th century, non-Western arts started to be seen in museum collections. This development was largely thanks to cubist and fauvist artists, influenced by writers and critics from Apollinaire to Malraux, and in the wake of the work of such great anthropologists as Claude Lévi-Strauss. The idea of opening a museum in Paris in 2006, entirely devoted to the arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and America gave shape to a worthy ambition - to enable a whole range of viewpoints, from the ethnologist's to the art historian's, to be brought to bear upon the artefacts in question, and bring official recognition to the place occupied by civilisations and cultural heritages of peoples often held apart from global culture today. Under the august patronage of UNESCO, the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac has already welcomed over 3.5 million enthusiastic visitors to the Pavillon des Sessions, its 'branch' at the Musée du Louvre, since the year 2000.