Museums are real testimonies of culture, art and history, they educate and fascinate us. They are small worlds apart where it is good to cultivate, appreciate, admire and question ourselves. Indeed, France has a lot of museums, each one more impressive than the other. And because it’s not enough to just open the doors of the museum for people to immediately rush in, it was necessary, since the creation of the Grand Louvre by François Mitterrand, to reinvent the institution through a transformation of the physical structures of the museum itself and therefore of its architecture, as Alexis Kuperfis, a great lover of museums and contemporary art, tells us.
Reinventing museum architecture
The first thing is to make the museum visible from the outside, it’s a very important element. For example, the pyramid of the Louvre in the middle of the large courtyard allows you to see the location of the entrance no matter where you stand. So this organization of the site gave visibility to the entrance of the museum. From now on, every time we renovate a museum, we think of making the entrance a remarkable thing that will enhance the attraction of the building.
Secondly, the idea is that we could no longer make the museum just a place where collections are accumulated. Of course we have to keep collections because the legitimacy of the museum exists on this basis. But they are kept in separate spaces so that the beautiful building, which is usually in the city center with its beautiful spaces, can be dedicated to receive the public both for the permanent exhibitions and temporary ones. Those temporary exhibitions will allow visitors to come and return regularly to the museum.
Turning museums into monuments of symbolic value
According to Alexis Kuperfis, these new functions of the museum, the reception function, the exhibition function and also all the workshops that are organized will be grouped together and installed in one building. And to meet these new requirements, a selection will be made from among the world’s greatest architects to build monuments that will have a symbolic function for the entire city. We can even say that museums today have become the new cathedrals that will mark the city.
For Alexis Kuperfis, there is also a sacred dimension in museums, as they are largely based on unalterable collections that come from the most distant centuries and that will be be bequeathed to future generations. And, in this world marked by hectic lifestyle and obsolescence, the very idea that there are objects that are preserved and that will be be transmitted to future generations is a dimension that tends to make museums sacred, thus giving a symbolic connotation to the predominance of art and culture over other forms of leisure and entertainment.