Heart of darkness

The rendered block fronting Rue du Universite is animated by the ceiling frescoes provided by Aboriginal artists.  The volume faced in pleated white steel panels houses the temporary gallery and foyer. The permanent collection is housed above.

President Jacques Chirac's legacy is an ambitious and controversial museum devoted to France's ethnic art works. But Jean Nouvel's heavy-handed approach and the Disney-esque displays fail to put the new Musée du Quai Branly on a par with the the French capital's other cultural high points

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