Luxury tycoon Arnault to revamp Paris museum

French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault is expanding his art museum empire with plans to renovate a disused public building near his landmark Louis Vuitton Foundation on the outskirts of Paris.

The Musee National des Arts et Traditions Populaires, built in 1972 but sitting vacant since 2005, is to be turned into a multi-cultural arts and crafts center in a 158 million euros ($167 million) revamp by architect Frank Gehry.

Arnault discusses plans for the building with French President François Hollande

Gehry also designed the Louis Vuitton Foundation building, which stands 300 meters (yards) away on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne woods.

The investment was due to be announced later on Wednesday by Arnault, owner of luxury group LVMH, in the presence of President Francois Hollande, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay, a source close to the matter said.

Gehry, whose Louis Vuitton Foundation building opened in 2014, will create a cultural center with an arts and crafts focus, featuring a concert hall and workshops for a 50 year-concession granted to Arnault by the City of Paris.

Paris officials last year renewed LVMH's concession for the Jardin d'Acclimatation amusement park behind the disused museum site, opening the way for a renovation of the garden and its attractions.

LVMH, which has managed the park since 1984, holds an 80 percent stake in a partnership with Compagnie des Alpes, a theme parks and ski resorts developer. The concession contract runs for 25 years.


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