After six years of renovations, the “Museum of Mankind” (Musee de l’Homme) in Paris will reopen its doors this week. Although the exterior of the art deco building, located in the famous Trocadero Square overlooking the Eiffel Tower remains unchanged, inside visitors will discover 2,500 square metres of entirely renovated exhibitions, offering a new perspective on the history and evolution of mankind.
Museum curator Evelyne Heyer says the permanent exhibition looks at three things: what mankind is, where man came from and where mankind is headed. She explains that methods of research into humanity have changed and researchers now know how important the relationship between biology and culture is in the functioning of human beings. “Mankind hasn’t changed, but the science of mankind has — we know that to understand mankind we must really grasp the biological and cultural aspects and there are plenty of questions in our society’s current events that require this double-understanding, this double-competence,” she said.
The museum contains some of the largest and most reputable collections of prehistoric artifacts in the world, featuring recently acquired ethnological artifacts.
These remarkable objects are presented in chronological order — from the skull of man’s ancestor Cro-Magnon to that of French philosopher Rene Descartes — along with a gallery of 19th-century busts representing human diversity in a modern way. More than 96 million euros were invested by the French government to revamp the historic museum, which first opened its doors in 1938.
The Museum of Mankind (Musee de l’Homme) opens to the public on Saturday (October 17), with free entry for the first three days after opening.
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