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Musée d'Orsay, 7th Arr.

1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur
France 75007
Tel: 33 1 40 49 48 14
Metro: Musée d'Orsay
view web site ›'s insider take:

Since opening in 1986, the Musée d'Orsay has become one of the most successful and beloved museums in the world. The grandiose limestone edifice was originally built as a train station to process the throngs who came for the World Fair of 1900. It stood idle for many years before Italian architect Gae Aulenti remodeled the interior without annihilating its original heritage; coats of arms on the main concourse's elaborate ceiling represent the cities served by the old station, for example. The collection represents that fruitful era from 1848 to 1914—approximately the incubation period of modern art and, as luck and late socialist president François Mitterand would have it, also concurrent with the birth and flowering of socialism. Politics aside, it's a great institution, with a terrific collection of Impressionist canvases, including Manet's famous Déjeuner sur l'Herbe and Van Gogh's first Starry Night. Don't miss the Art Nouveau furniture collection, or views of Paris from behind the glass clock faces on the Seine side of the building.

Open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (9:45 p.m. on Thursdays). Closed Mondays.

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