HOME FREE: François Pinault’s art collection is finally coming to Paris — even if it is only temporary. The billionaire French investor will lend some 50 works to an exhibition to be held under the Gothic arches of the Conciergerie, the former royal palace and prison on the Île de la Cité in central Paris where Marie Antoinette was jailed.
The show is being billed as the first exhibition in Paris of a major ensemble of works from the Pinault collection. In 2005, the founder of the PPR retail an luxury empire ditched plans to build a private museum to house his collection on the Île Seguin southwest of Paris, after the project became embroiled in red tape. His decision to showcase the works at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice instead was seen as a major blow to the French capital’s cultural prestige.
“À Triple Tour” (“Triple Locked” in English), scheduled to run from Oct. 21 to Jan. 6, will feature works by 22 artists, including Bill Viola, Boris Mikhailov, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst and Chen Zhen, over a surface of more than 16,000 square feet.
“The purpose of this exhibition is to explore the question of imprisonment, a theme that resonates with the imposing setting of the Conciergerie, which was used as a place of detention in the past,” said the Centre des monuments nationaux, the French government body in charge of historic buildings that belong to the state.
“The majority of the works have never been exhibited and they offer a range of singular points of view on this topic, which runs throughout human history,” it said.