The Museum of Hunting and Nature (The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature) is probably one of the most astonishing Parisian museums. Situated in the heart of the historical center of Paris, in the Guénégaud and Mongelas mansions, this private museum shows rather interesting items. In this place, you can see some paintings and sculptures representing hunting and nature scenes and done by famous artists such as Chardin, Vernet and Desportes, as well as many weapons and hunting accessories and also numerous trophies and stuffed animals from all over the world. Even if you are not a fan of hunting, this is such an incredible place that is definitely worth visiting.
The Museum of Hunting and Nature was a life project of François Sommer and his wife, Jacqueline. François and Jacqueline were hunters but also nature lovers and conservationists. Their idea was to open a museum that shows a relationship between humans and their natural environment. Finally, the Museum of Hunting and Nature was opened in 1964, in the 17th-century mansion, which was classified as a French historical monument in 1962. The items collected by François and Jacqueline Sommer represent a great part of the museum collection. This collection is divided into three categories: paintings and sculptures representing hunting and nature scenes, weapons and hunting accessories and trophies and stuffed animals. There is one thing you should not miss while visiting this museum - the head of a talking boar, which is displayed in the Trophy Room, situated on the first floor. This boar with a white coat and red eyes is actually a robot and a work of the artist Nicolas Darrot.
The Museum of Hunting and Nature is also a centre of contemporary art in Paris. In 2014, the museum hosted a very interesting performance, when Abraham Poincheval, a French artist, locked himself for thirteen days inside of the belly of a stuffed bear. This performance was broadcasted online 24 hours a day. Then, in 2017, the museum was transformed into a real playground thanks to the iconic works of Sophie Calle, named by the New York Times "the most French of artists". The Museum of Hunting and Nature is also a place where you can see many contemporary works, such as the sculpture “Puppy”, by the famous American artist Jeff Koons.
The Museum of Hunting and Nature is open every day except on Mondays. The opening hours are from 11 am to 6 pm and on Wednesdays until 9:30 pm. The entrance to the museum costs eight euros, but it is free of charge for children under 18 years and everyone every first Sunday of the month. The museum regularly organizes the temporary exhibitions and even some special events for children.
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