The Montcalm hotel in Montpellier. – N. Bonzom / Maxele Press

  • The "Beaubourg" of Montpellier will be inaugurated on June 29th.
  • The venue will not have permanent collections, but will display public and private collections from around the world.
  • The site will also host a bar, a restaurant, a bookstore and a large outdoor terrace, in the shade of ancient trees.

The "Beaubourg" of Montpellier will be inaugurated on June 29th. This weekend, the entrance will be free for everyone. But to see what? Less than five months before its inauguration, we know (well) a little more about the Moco, the new museum of contemporary art, housed within
an old Montcalm hotel renovated from floor to ceiling.

First, the place will not have permanent collections. "We will work with the collections of others. Our project is to show things that we are not used to seeing, "says the one who was one of the spearheads of the new Palais de Tokyo and who took in hand the destinies of the Moco, Nicolas Bourriaud. Thus, the museum will present this summer works from the private collection of the Japanese entrepreneur Yasuharu Ishikawa. Sculptures, installations or photographs of some twenty artists from all over the world, from the last 20 years.

A bar, a restaurant, a terrace … A new place to live

A new link in contemporary art in Montpellier with Panacea and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the Moco will also be at the heart of the event "Hundred artists in the city", which will propose for two months, from June 8 to 28 July, an artistic walk from the Saint-Roch station to the Beaux-Arts district. An exhibition from a Russian public collection will complete the first program of the Montpellier museum.

But the Moco, accessible to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, promises to be a new place to live for Montpellier, even if we do not necessarily love contemporary art. "Our wish is to make it a real meeting place, to come and see exhibitions, but not only," says Sébastien Truchot, the architect of the new museum. The site will host for example a bar, a restaurant, a bookstore and a large outdoor terrace, in the shade of ancient trees.

The horticultural artist Bernard Lavier is also responsible for transforming the park, around the theme "five continents". "As in the botanical course, there will be indications on the origin of the plants, notes the latter. We will have the impression of making a real trip around the planet while strolling in the garden. The fountain must also come back to life. It will host a "pyramid of watering cans". As for the (essential) question of the entry to the museum, it will be done by the street of the Republic.


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