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The Musée Lambinet, Another Versailles

Published on , by Valentin Grivet

The Lambinet family’s former hôtel particulier (urban mansion), which serves as a history, painting, sculpture and decorative arts museum since 1932, has gotten a facelift. The newly redesigned exhibits provide a delightful glimpse into 18th-century life in France.

Gustave Boulanger, Portrait de Madame Lambinet (Portrait of Madame Lambinet), born... The Musée Lambinet, Another Versailles

Gustave Boulanger, Portrait de Madame Lambinet (Portrait of Madame Lambinet), born Nathalie Sinclair (1857-1926), 1887, oil on canvas, 150.3 x 90.3 cm/59.17 x 35.55 in (detail).
© Ville de Versailles/Pierrick Daul

“It’s a local museum, a place of charm. We don’t claim to rival the chateau!” says François de Mazières, Versailles mayor and former president of the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine in Paris. Between the French classical façade and a small garden in the back lies a collector's residence showcasing the city’s art and history with paintings, sculptures, furniture and decorative arts spanning the 17 th to the mid-20 th century. Erected in 1752 as a private mansion for Joseph-Barnabé Porchon, entrepreneur of royal buildings under Louis XV , the museum has emerged from a three-year renovation with a completely redesigned visitor’s route. Elected officials and the conservation team spearheaded the ambitious project in a complicated context. “The Chateau of Versailles recently took back the revenues from the Place d'Armes parking lots, which up to now have been going to the City,” says Mr. de Mazières. “It's a huge loss of income. Our budget was tight. We used the technical teams and municipal workshops for the electricity,…
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