Du Louvre à Valençay,<br>1939-1946

Du Louvre à Valençay,

From 19th May to 11th november 2021

The new exhibition at the Château de Valençay explores a little-known facet of its history. During World War II, the Duke of Valençay made his property available to the national museums, to shelter works of art from the Louvre. Like Chambord, Cheverny, Montal and Sourches, Valençay was one of the main storehouses outside of Paris, in areas chosen for their isolation.

The Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo’s Slaves were just some of the monumental sculptures that the château was able to accommodate, thanks to its expansive proportions. Near all of the Louvre’s statuary was sheltered there throughout the war, alongside collections from Fontainebleau and the Guimet and Malmaison Museums.

The exhibition examines the history and life of Valençay’s art storehouse, as well as the daily lives of the Louvre curators who stayed at the château, rubbing elbows with Duke Boson de Talleyrand-Périgord and his inner circle. It also retraces the threats to the art’s safety, as the enemy forces advanced.

The unsettling and chaotic staging by Florient Azoulay immerses visitors in the atmosphere of emergency that preceded the evacuation of the pieces from France’s major museums. Work from the collections, archived documents, unique objects, photographs and music intertwine, between absence and accumulation, to arouse emotions and questions about the importance of art in our society.

entrance to the requisitioned Valençay castle


Collective curator of the exhibition

Scientific direction
Anne Gérardot

Research and documentation
Manon Beulay

Artistic direction
Florient Azoulay

Drafting of panels
Manon Beulay, Fanny Chauffeteau

Graphic design
Benoit Böhnke, Cyril Makhoul

General coordination
Sylvie Giroux

Musical creation
Olivier Innocenti

To know more (only in French)

Cahier n°3
L’exil des chefs d’œuvre du Louvre


Le Clou de l’exposition