Musée de l’Homme (Museum of Mankind)

Fully renovated, the Musée de l’Homme opened its doors to the public again on 17 October 2015 and is home to the brand new Evolution of Man and Societies Research Centre. Spotlight on a “laboratory-Muséum” dedicated to the understanding of Man, his past… and his future.

La Galerie de l'Homme - bande annonce

A laboratory-Muséum
The first challenge facing the renovation project was staying faithful to the institution’s history. A key issue, for its value lies in an original working approach designed by its founder, Paul Rivet. From 1928, this professor of anthropology at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle wanted to create a “laboratory-Muséum”, a place with a library, all the ethnographic, prehistoric and anthropological collections dedicated to the human species and a teaching and research mission. A thoroughly modern and unique cultural and scientific venue.

Space and light
The second key objective was to respect the building too. Created by Gabriel Davioud for the Universal Exhibition of 1878 and remodelled for the one in 1937 by Jacques Carlu, the Palais de Chaillot is a listed Historical Monument. For the Brochet-Lajus-Pueyo firm and the Emmanuel Nebout architectural studio, in charge of the refurbishment, the aim was therefore not to change its appearance in any way, but to completely alter the way the space was used. To make more space available to the public, they designed a huge atrium 16 metres high, on two levels, and filled with natural light from the original glass roof with the ceiling being partially removed. This brand new area still provides a magnificent view of the River Seine and the Champ-de-Mars. This is the heart of the Muséum, a place for everyone to enjoy with exhibition galleries, teaching rooms, a resource centre, auditorium and café.

The scientific adventure
The Muséum is home to the ‘Centre de recherche sur l’évolution de l’Homme et des sociétés’, a centre for research into the evolution of Mankind and societies. This overlapping and closeness of research and Muséum dissemination is an innovative concept in Europe. Its main strength? Studying the evolution of Man and societies through a multi-disciplinary approach and, of course, the collections. Two departments associated with the Musée de l’Homme are already fully involved. The Prehistory department provides the in-depth chronological knowledge vital to the study of the relationship between Man and nature. As for the Man, nature and societies teams, they are examining the relationship between human societies and the environment, as well as the links between biology and culture. With its scientific platform and ten laboratories, the new Musée de l’Homme is driving forward the ambition of an institution geared towards building knowledge and disseminating knowledge to the public.

The epic journey of Mankind
How is this put across? The Zette Cazalas firm based its museology design on the three stages of the journey dreamt up by the Musée de l'Homme teams. The first section “Who are we?” explains what makes humans unique and diverse - our bodies, thought, language and also living together. The second feature “Where do we come from?” takes us back to the origins of the species through an investigation which began a little over two centuries ago. Finally, “Where are we heading?” - a summary of the changes undergone by Man and the planet over the past 10,000 years makes us question our own choices and those of humanity. Come and explore the brand new Musée de l’Homme, a Muséum devoted to every aspect of Mankind, a Muséum of science and societies, a Muséum where knowledge is shared, open to everyone, a Muséum of the 21st century and a place where citizenship is key!


Following the terror attacks in Paris on friday, november 13, 2015 and to ensure the safety of our visitors, the Musée de l’Homme is strictly applying the security measures decided by the french authorities.

The Musée de l’Homme is fully opened.

Luggages and big items are not allowed.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and delay which may be caused by the extra security checks at the entrance.