One of the reasons I love to go to museums has to do with nostalgia. There’s nothing quite like revisiting an old familiar place filled with beautiful things. I go back to my favourite Paris museums all the time, even if there isn’t a new collection on show. Some of my most beloved museums remind me of my earliest years in France, of perfect Paris days past or of old friends.
But another of the reasons has to do with discovery.
I like to go to museums to see what I know. But I love to go to museums to see what I don’t. And the Musée national des arts asiatiques- Guimet, or the Guimet National Museum of Asian Art, is a treasure trove of the beautiful and the unfamiliar.
I’m ashamed to admit that beside countless insomniac hours wandering the halls of the Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur airports, I have never been to Asia. I plan to remedy that in the not-too-distant future, but for the time being the Guimet will do nicely.
Located in a stunning stone building in the regal 16th arrondissement, the Guimet is three glorious floors of diverse and exotic artwork, ceramics, sculptures and artefacts. The museum is organised according to region, with rooms dedicated to the art and culture of India and the Himalayan region, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, China and South-East and Central Asia.
Some of the museum’s highlights are an array of Japanese screens, Thai religious sculptures, Indian ceramics and a stunning Chinese Buddha statue dominating the central hall. The collections are beautifully curated and the museum puts on a number of unique temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
I may have gone to the Musée Guimet with discovery in mind. But my interest in travelling across Asia has been piqued. So next time here’s hoping it will be about nostalgia.
Xx la muséophile
6 place d’Iéna, 75116 (métro Iéna or Boissière)
Full price: 7.5 euros
Reduced price: 5.5 euros
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm