Hottest thing among France’s richest men is to compete not by cars or houses, but by their art and new private museums. This duel between François Pinault and Bernard Arnault is beautiful to watch. Two owners of luxury brand empires (Pinault family controls Gucci, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Christie’s auction house and others while Arnault has Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon, Hennessy, Dior, Givenchy, Kenzo, Bulgari and many more) are popping new museums all the time. Bernard Arnault this spring announced plans to open up one more museum by Frank Gehry next to his Fondation Louis Vuitton which was (you will never guess) also designed by ol’ Frank.
In response, François Pinault who already has museums in Venice – Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana, revealed his plan to convert Bourse de commerce, 19th century former Paris stock exchange, to a private museum to display his 1.2 billion euro art collection. And surprise surprise, he chose Tadao Ando to do it. Why this was a surprise? Because it wasn’t really. Tadao Ando renovated for him marvellous Punta Della Dogana in Venice and did it quite well. So, it was the most predictable choice.
As a proper art collectors should, both Bernard Arnault and François Pinault seem to be proper conservative dust-bags, unable to make any really creative picks with architects. Despite lame choices, it will probably be an exciting museum to visit. Knowing Arnault’s ability to bring jaw-dropping collections to his Fondation Louis Vuitton and François Pinault’s beautiful Punta Della Dogana, we should not expect anything less. A sneak speak of how future museum will look like is below.