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Musée Rodin in Paris.
Musée Rodin in Paris.

Musée Rodin Expands to Shenzhen, China

Paris’s Musée Rodin announced at a Franco Chinese cultural forum in Nice, France, on Monday that it is planning to open an outpost in Shenzhen, in the Guangdong province of mainland China. The new art center will be built in the next two to three years and will be supported by China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the French Ministry of Culture, and private funding.

The Musée Rodin will lend more than fifty of Auguste Rodin’s works to the Chinese branch. It has also agreed to sell the center around fifty of the artist’s bronzes. More details regarding the project’s cost and schedule will likely be made available following French President Emmanuel Macron’s planned trip to China next month.

“Since 2014, the Musée Rodin has been approached many times by Chinese cities or Chinese companies to form a Rodin collection in China,” a spokesperson for the institution told Artnet. “But often these companies had very commercial projects with not enough cultural, educational, or philanthropic projects, and so the Rodin Museum refused them.” 

Since last summer, Musée Rodin director Catherine Chevillot had visited several cities in the province as the museum searched for a Chinese location. The institution cited the multicultural character and diversity of ethnic groups in Shenzhen as well as the importance of culture and education in the city as factors that were considered when the museum decided to move forward with the project.

The announcement of the new Shenzhen home, which will be located in the mainland city nearest to Hong Kong, was made amid the Chinese government’s continued crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the region. The clashes are thought to be the worst political crisis since the UK handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997.