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Nantes: what will the future Dobrée museum look like?


REPORT - Work on this heritage complex, located in the city center and closed since 2010, should be completed by the end of the year.

Le Figaro Nantes

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The Dobrée museum, located in the heart of the Graslin district, in Nantes, is getting a makeover.

Closed since 2010, it should reopen before the summer of 2024 and will be "

an exceptional museum for the people of Nantes, the inhabitants of Loire-Atlantique and even beyond

", welcomes Michel Ménard, helmet on his head and fluorescent orange vest .

During a visit to the construction site organized on Friday, the president of the Loire-Atlantique (PS) departmental council, the main financier of the rehabilitation of this archaeological exhibition site, which notably shows the setting of the heart of Anne de Brittany, recalled that it is a


million euro project”


The Region is contributing three million euros, and the State 4.05 million.

It was in 2017 that the renovation process officially began with the appointment of the labor management team.

The work began in 2021. "

There are no more legal obstacles

(than expected, editor's note)

to complete the project

", specifies Michel Ménard, echoing the appeal against the building permit filed by the association Nantes Patrimoine, and rejected by the administrative court in December.

Through this rehabilitation, the Department wishes to "

respect the heritage of Thomas Dobrée

», this shipowner and collector who, in 1862, acquired a former Episcopal manor, next to which he built his house to display his treasures, before bequeathing them to the Department.

The institution brought them together with the collections of the Archaeological and Historical Society of Nantes and Loire-Inférieure, to open the Dobrée Museum on January 8, 1899.

Read also“We started in an 8m2 student room”: near Nantes, the journey of a couple who became squires

People are waiting for the reopening, they are curious.

A generation will not recognize it!

“, urges Dominique Poirout, vice-president culture and heritage at the Department, who indicates that the old objects will be put forward in a more modern staging.

The museum has 135,000 objects of which 2600 are on display.

Already in 1998, a first attempt at transformation, ultimately aborted, had been undertaken.

Buildings from different eras


The welcome will be here

," says Marc Iseppi, architect of the November workshop, project manager, turning his gaze to the Voltaire building.

This part, the most recent, was built in the 1970s. It will be extended again to house a shop and a café.

Administrative offices and educational workshops will also be located in these premises.


Oxidized steel will be the common thread to guide travellers

", specifies the project manager.

Rust-coloured, this material will be found on the rare new interventions, the immense part of the buildings having been renovated in a traditional way.

Entrance will be through the Voltaire building.

LT / Le Figaro

The manor of La Touche, built in the 15th century by the bishop of Nantes Jean de Malestroit, will also undergo an enlargement of about a fifth of its length, on the west side.

An elevator will be integrated there for people with reduced mobility and an auditorium will be built there.

The complex will house the temporary exhibitions, over an area of ​​400 m2.

The extension of the mansion (on the right) represents approximately 8 meters of extension.

LT / Le Figaro

The Manoir Jean V, seen from the other side LT / Le Figaro

The permanent collections will be in the palace.

This is the house that Thomas Dobrée had built in the 19th century.

He did not see it completed because he died in 1895, three years before the end of the project.

For the first time, the basements will be accessible: "

they have never been open to the public

", explains Fabrice Julia, deputy director of real estate operations at the Department.

A major waterproofing work has been carried out to soon accommodate the archaeological objects.

The garden level will be dedicated to medieval times and the Renaissance, the first will take visitors into the world of collectors to finish on the second with non-European collections (Egyptian, Mediterranean...).

In the basement, archaeological collections will be installed, such as sarcophagi.

LT / Le Figaro

At R+2, visitors will discover collections from five continents.

LT / Le Figaro

Once the work is finished, at the end of 2023, “

we will take the time to install the objects for several months, until spring

”, indicates Julie Pellegrin, director of the museum.

Then there will be the adjustment of the lighting, which is sometimes done to the millimeter.

The objects will be stored in an underground building, refurbished.

It will not be visible but very useful.


When a work arrives, it will pass by the rue de la Rosière d'Artois then make its way through the buried gallery

", describes Fabrice Julia.

Finally, gardens with free access are planned.

In addition to a square for children, a forecourt under the shade of lime trees and a green promenade, a kind of mini-garden of plants, equipped with specific furniture is emerging from the ground.

We have used traditional techniques to preserve the identity of the building

Thomas Lesage, regional director of Bouygues Bâtiment Grand Ouest, works manager

For Bouygues Bâtiment Grand Ouest, this project was "

a major operation

" with the association of "

the restoration of a historic heritage with new buildings

", indicates Thomas Lesage, regional director of the company, responsible for coordinating restructuring works.

" We

had to unify three buildings from different eras

," agrees Marc Iseppi, the architect.

We used traditional techniques to preserve the identity of the building

,” continues Thomas Lesage.

For example, “

the roofs have been redone identically with nailed slates


About a hundred people work on the site, including apprentices.


In December 2022, we had provided 8,500 hours of training, the equivalent of four full-time jobs, in formwork, carpentry and roofing


With the pride, for these artisans, of working with noble materials.

A visit to the site was organized on Friday February 3 with the structures invested in the rehabilitation.

LT / Le Figaro

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-07

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