Paris has revealed plans to open a museum dedicated to sculptor Alberto GIacometti from 2026.

The museum will be located in the former Gare des Invalides. Vacated by Air France, the building stands next to Gare d’Orsay, home to the famed Orsay Museum. The Giacometti Museum will help strengthening Paris cultural offer along the Seine River.

Alberto Giacometti is one of the most respected and well-known sculptors of the 20th century. Born in Switzerland in 1901 in the italian-speaking village of Borgonovo (Graubünden Canton), Giacometti was a complete artist. He was not only a sculptor but also a painter, draftsman and printmaker. However most of his best known pieces are the slender sculptures of humans and animals that were produced after World War II.

The biggest collection of the artist’s work, owned by the Giacometti Foundation will be housed in a dedicated museum Paris, the city where GIacometti spent most of his life. Since 2003, the Giacometti Foundation has also been located in the French capital.

Larger spaces in the heart of France’s capital

Of course, the Swiss artist already had a dedicated museum in Paris. Set in a former mansion, the Institut Giacometti has been open since 2018, showing parts of an exceptional collection: 95 paintings, 260 bronzes, 550 plaster casts, thousands of drawings and engravings, a considerable archive and a large part of the artist’s library. However, the mansion offers only 300 m2 of spaces, far too small to reflect the abundance of the collection.

The former Invalides train station and its underground annexes were created for the 1900 World Fair. Located along the Seine river and a mere 10 minute walk from Orsay Museum – Paris museum of 19th century art hosted in a former rail station. The rail station used to serve last as an Air France agency and bus station to both Paris Orly and CDG airports.

It will be completely renovated as part of a programme by the city of Paris with the support of private investors. The future museum will offer 6,000 m2 area. “We will have enough space to present the Giacometti collection, to hold temporary exhibitions and to carry out our art school project simultaneously,” said Catherine Grenier, director of the Institut Giacometti in an interview with the French daily Le Monde.

A museum for all

Giacometti Studio in the Giacometti Institute (Photo : EvaVerne, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The new museum will show how universal was Giacometti by exhibiting not only his sculptures but also his paintings, drawings, and decorative art objects. Some 10,000 works of Giacometti will be part of the permanent collection. Two other rooms will be dedicated to exhibitions of modern and contemporary art that are “related to the spirit of Giacometti,” stressed Grenier in her interview.

According to Grenier, the museum will also integrate a school of arts for “all practices”, according to Grenier. In Le Monde, she explained that “there is a lack of training places for the visual arts in Paris. The ambition is to turn the Giacometti Museum into a centre of arts for all, children and adults, experienced or novice by offering courses in various disciplines.

Set to open in 2026, 60 years after Giacometti’s death, Grenier expects the museum to attract up to one million visitors per year.

The opening of the museum in the former Invalides Rail Station reinforces this area in Paris into a centre of arts with many museums institutions: the National Army Museum in the Invalides, Orsay Museum, Rodin Museum – dedicated to France’s most famous sculptor, the Grand Palais integrating the Museum of Scientific Discoveries (currently all closed for renovation) and the Petit Palais, a museum of fine arts.

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