The Grand Palais was built in 1897-1900 for the Universal Exhibition in Paris. As the inscription on the front of the building proclaims, it was originally 'a monument dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art'.
In 1964, the Minister of Culture, André Malraux, gave Reynolds Arnould the task of turning part of the Grand Palais into galleries to house prestigious international temporary exhibitions. The first of these exhibitions, on African art, was held between June and August 1966.
Functioning as an external department of the Ministry of Culture, reporting to the DMF (French Museums Division), the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais have since housed over 200 exhibitions, most of which were organised by the Réunion des musées nationaux. The galleries have become France's leading venue for international exhibitions.
Each year, one and a half million visitors cross the threshold of the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais.
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