The Grand Palais in Paris is getting its largest refurbishment since opening for the Exposition Universelle in 1900, when the mammoth hall on the Champs-Élysées was used to show off sculptures and horse races under the biggest glass roof in Europe.
Today, the Grand Palais is used for blockbuster art exhibits, sporting events, and fashion shows. As a matter of fact, one of France's most famed fashion brands, Chanel, will pony up €30 million (US$37 million) of the renovation project's total €500 million (US$617 million) price tag. For the company's trouble, the building's main entrance will be renamed for Coco Chanel. Additional funding for the overhaul will come from the French government.
When the work is done—and officials intend to have the project completed in time for the Grand Palais to host fencing and tae kwon do matches during the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games—there will be six new galleries, a rooftop terrace, and a walkway that will cut through the building, connecting the Champs-Élysées and a garden with views of the Seine.
Permanent exhibits will celebrate France's considerable cultural contributions and chronicle the history of the Grand Palais.
Unfortunately, the building will be closed during renovations, so the many art shows held here each year will have to find temporary homes once the project kicks off in 2020.
Travelers keen on stepping inside the Beaux-Arts icon will need to find their way to Paris before then.
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