European Night of Museums in Paris

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This Saturday on the 17th of May you will be able to visit any museum of your choice by night and for free! It’s time to get smart with the European Night of Museums (Nuit européenne des musées). Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Musée du quai Branly and many others will open their doors to take you on an unforgettable journey through the night.


More than 1000 cultural centers and museums will open their doors to curious night visitors. It is for sure an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

During the European Night of Museums the closing hours of the museums are postponed to approximately 1 am, allowing the public to visit the participating museums by night and for free. The night visit of the museums allows to discover their collections in an unusual and more personal and sensory way. A lot of animations are hosted during the event, which is attended by millions of visitors every year.


The event was created by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication back in 2005. It is held every year in France and all over Europe on the Saturday closest to the International Museum Day.

This year the program is as exciting as always. Here is our top choice of the events not to miss during the European Night of Museums - an event that will surely keep you awake!

Musée du quai Branly

For example Musée du quai Branly proposes its visitors to discover myths and legends of the museum’s masterpieces in an interesting narrative way with the help of the comedians Yannick Laurent and Alain Aithnard within the event called “Fairytales and poems of the night’’.


And when it comes to the night time, and awesome DJ set (yep, a DJ set in a museum) will be performed by la Mamie’s band. Four DJs will pick tracks from their impressive collection of vinyl records, selected in connection with the theme of the night.


You will be able to check out how the music perfectly blends with the background sounds of the museum installations. Who could have thought that DJs perform in museums?

Centre Pompidou

An impressive installation will probably simply blow your mind at the square of the Centre Pompidou. With 500 lit candles, the French artist Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, will create his art piece called  “I Will Keep a Light Burning” to honor the biggest Galileo’s achievement – the invention of the telescope.


First time the installation was shown in Rome and then in Paris at Montmartre in 2011 and now it is back to bring you closer to the stars and mysteries of the universe!

Paris-Nuit-Blanche-2011- Montmartre-I-Will-Keep-a-Light-Burning-installation

The candles will be installed to recreate the starry sky and its constellations, that Galileo attentively observed through the telescope he built back in the XVII century in Italy.

Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay will also offer a great opportunity for you to admire the exhibitions dedicated to famous impressionists. The museum invites you to cross nearly a hundred years of art history, to observe its masterpieces in closer caption… and also to dance among them!


In collaboration with the National Theatre of Chaillot, few days away from the relaunch of his play called “Don Quichotte du Trocadéro”, the choreographer José Montalvo, will give the visitors of the museum a unique opportunity to learn some dance steps with him.


At 8 pm a ball will be launched for children. Then at 10 pm, you will be able to dance among the greatest masterpieces in history in the golden lights of the Festival Hall of the Musée d’Orsay.

Musée du Louvre

During the European Night of Museums the Louvre museum will be opened till 11.30 pm! An interesting installation will capture your attention. A giant neon of 22 meters long can now be seen in the middle of the Pyramide du Louvre – the work of Claude Lévêque, an artist straight from the avant-garde scene of the late 1970s. This installation perfectly reflects the initiative of the museum to propose more exhibitions of contemporary art.


“It is the light and the sound that are the means for the complete metamorphosis, these are the two key elements in a sensation. After come textures, images, environments, objects, etc.” – says the artist.

 The European museum night
17th of May 6 pm – 1 am
Full program here
Admission free

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