French billionaire businessman, François Pinault (of luxury group Kering) to display private art collection of 3,500 works inside the former Paris Stock Exchange Building “Bourse de Commerce”, in what will become the newest addition to Paris’ Modern Art Museum scene.

The Bourse de Commerce, once the epicentre of the Parisian (and greater France of course) stock trade, This long since abandoned 19th Century architectural masterpiece will be given a second wind when it re-open’s in 2021 as home to some 3,500 works of art from the private collection of French billionaire, François Pinault.

The 360 degree mural adorning the dome of Bourse de Commerce

However, this endeavour goes far beyond one mans desire to showcase his collection of art to the world, this is the continuation of the bitter rivalry between two French billionaires vying for top status among the art world, and the antagonist to Pinault, is none other than fellow luxury brand owner Bernard Arnault (of LVMH Group fame). For Arnault had previously built his own museum in Paris to showcase his collection of art three years ago, in a vast 11,000 sq metre building designed by American architect Frank Gehry. Not to be out done by his business rival, Pinault set his sights on the 19th Century building for his own Art Museum. See below for their historic battle to be the best thats has raged on for more than a decade.

Bernard Arnault

The $166 million La Maison LVMH/Arts-Talents-Patrimoine in Paris,
Designed by Frank Gehry.
Louis Vuitton
Château d’Yquem
$103 Billion

Vs.

Art Museum


Fashion House
Winery
Net Worth

François Pinault

The $170 million Bourse de Commerce in Paris, Plus the Palazzo Grassi & Punta della Doganain Venice.
Gucci
Clos de Tart
$31 Billion

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A Little Backstory Of The Building:

The origins of the Bourse de Commerce takes place in the sixteenth century (the only remaining vestige is, the Medici column). The building saw many changes over its lifetime, with renovations to its core structure resulting in different uses of the space and the transformations of the Halles area in which it is located.

Model of the Bourse de Commerce showing the cylinder designed by Tadao Ando nested in the atrium. (Image courtesy of boursedecommerce)

As the Halles evolved, so did the Bourse de Commerce. In the eighteenth century, the building was located at the heart of one of Paris’s main housing districts; architect Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières’s Halle au Blé incorporated the Medici column. With the start of construction on Baltard’s Halles in 1852, the Medici column was listed as a national historic monument (classified as such in 1862, along with Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Sainte Chapelle). It then became the Bourse de Commerce in 1889, converted to this use by Henri Blondel, located opposite the Halles designed by Baltard on the new Rue du Louvre, the central axis of Baron Haussmann’s modern Paris. With the dramatic demolition of Baltard’s Halles, which initiated a reassessment of the value and merits of nineteenth-century architecture, the totality of the Bourse de Commerce became a landmarked historic monument in 1975.

In the 1980s, a renewed attention to France’s heritage and its conservation led to the acknowledgment of the exceptional merits of Bélanger’s 1812 dome, then classified as a French Historic Monument. Despite the protections that follow from this designation, works undergone during the 1970s led to the erosion of certain historic features of the building, with the addition of a stairwell in the rotunda, the replacement of some of the original external woodwork, and the concealment of the décor.

“François Pinault has channelled his passion for contemporary into assembling one of the most important collections in the world today: it now includes more than 5,000 works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”

(From the website)

The Pinault Collection:

“The Bourse de Commerce is a new site in Paris where works from the Collection Pinault are displayed. Dedicated to contemporary art seen through the prism of the collection, it presents thematic displays and monographic exhibitions, as well as new productions, commissioned works, carte blanche events and in situ projects.” – Martin Bethenod (Managing Director, Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection)

François Pinault has channeled his passion for contemporary into assembling one of the most important collections in the world today: it now includes more than three thousand works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His approach is fed by his commitment to sharing his passion for art with as broad an audience as possible, and to accompanying artists as they explore new territories. Since 2006, François Pinault has oriented his cultural project along three axes: presenting ambitious exhibitions in Venice; lending works in his collection to museums across the world; and supporting and encouraging up-and-coming artists and art historians.

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Housed in two buildings in Venice, the “Palazzo Grassi” and ‘Punta della Dogana”, these sites were renovated and rehabilitated for their new purpose by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Works in the Pinault Collection are displayed in these two sites, in thematic exhibitions; artists are regularly commissioned to create new works, often in situ and part of their residency programs. “The Teatrino”, also designed by Tadao, welcomes a rich cultural and educational program, organised in collaboration with institutions and universities in Venice and abroad.

Works in the Collection are regularly presented in exhibitions across the world. They have been displayed in Paris, Moscow, Monaco, Seoul, Lille, Dinard, Dunkirk, Essen, and, in June 2017, in Stockholm, at the Fotografiska Museet. Solicited by public and private institutions, the Pinault Collection has loaned its works to international exhibitions and institutions.

The Pinault Collection also supports modern day contemporary artists and their works through its various programs, as well as sponsorships relating to the restoration of the Victor Hugo’s house in Guernsey, Hauteville House. In partnership with the city of Lille and the Hauts-de-France region, François Pinault founded a residency program in the former mining town. Housed in a former rectory, adapted to its new purpose by the architects of the firm NeM/Niney & Marca Architectes, it was inaugurated in December 2015. The selection of artists-in-residency is made jointly by the staff of the Collection Pinault, the DRAC and FRAC Hauts-de-France, Le Fresnoy –Studio National des Arts Contemporains, and the Louvre-Lens. After welcoming the American Melissa Budin and Aaron S. Davidson in 2016, the Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt took over the residency through August 2017, followed by the Brazilian Lucas Arruda in September 2017, then by the French-Moroccan Hicham Berrada from September 2018.

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In 2014 François Pinault founded the Pierre Daix Prize, in homage to the art historian Pierre Daix. It is awarded each year to an exceptional study of modern or contemporary art. In 2016, the prize was given to Maurice Fréchuret for his essay Effacer: Paradoxe d’un geste artistique, published by the presses du réel.

The Pinault Collection, The Numbers:

Exhibitions in Venice: 20
Exhibitions in other museums (Lille, Moscow, Dinard, Seoul, Dunkirk, Paris, Monaco, Essen, Stockholm): 9
Artists exhibited in Venice: 324
Works lent in France and throughout the world: more than 2,000
Works exhibited in Venice and throughout the world: more than 2,000
Events at the Teatrino since its opening in May 2013: more than 400
Visitors at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana: 2.5 million
Educational workshops since 2011: 260

“It is one of the great structural treasures of the city – considered by some as being on par with Notre-Dame cathedral for its architectural heritage.”

François Pinault (On the building itself)

Where To Find It:

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection is scheduled to open to the public in Spring 2021, For more information, refer to the website for updates.

Bourse de Commerce: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Press Release
Pinault Collection: Website

Founder & Editor in Chief @ Enzpired | Representing the magazines more traditional art movements, Timothy's primary focus is within classical fine art, particularly the Dutch Golden Age and Impressionism. With a penchant for dapper suits and the english language, striking a balance somewhere between The Great Gatsby and Oscar Wilde.