Guimet Museum (Musée Guimet) – Paris

Guimet Museum (Musée Guimet) – ParisGuimet Museum (Musée Guimet) – ParisGuimet Museum (Musée Guimet) – ParisGuimet Museum (Musée Guimet) – Paris

Guimet Museum (Musée Guimet)

Holding a collection of approximately 45,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years representing the cultures of Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam, the Guimet Museum (Musée Guimet) exhibits what is considered the largest and finest collection of Asian art outside of Asia.  Housed in a superbly restored nineteenth century landmark directly across the river from the Eiffel Tower, since it first opened in 1885 displaying the personal collection of wealthy industrialist Emile Guimet, it has become the repository of the priceless archaeological and artistic Asian holdings of the French state, particularly works brought back from expeditions to Cambodia, Korea and Tibet at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Of the approximately 3,500 works on display at any given time, the most celebrated is the collection of Cambodian Khmer statuary that holds the place of honor in the museum’s first-floor courtyard and includes stunning achievements such as the, “Head of King Jayavarman VII,” as well as the, “Kneeling Woman,” believed to be the king’s wife, both from the twelfth century.  Most impressive of all is, “Causeway of the Giants,”, a late twelfth century, monumental balustrade portraying a seven-headed cobra cradled by two smiling guardians constructed of 31 finely sculpted and intricately fitted stone blocks brought back from the Preah Khan temple at Angkor.

Masterpieces in the extensive Indian galleries include a rare first century, pink sandstone statue of the, “Bodhisattva Maitreya,” and the serene, “Head of Shiva,” from the tenth century.  The collection of Chinese jade carvings, porcelains and ceramics is unmatched exemplified by objects such as the fourteenth century Yuan-period, “White Dragon Vase,” as well as the Ming and Qing Dynasty bowls in pure white or blue dating from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Explore galleries dedicated to ancient Javanese bronzes, Tibetan deities in wood polychrome, Korean wash drawings, Nepalese theatrical masks and Japanese Nara Period sculptures and Edo Period engravings and paintings, all magnificently realized.  The intricate, eighteenth century, “Model of a Chinese Pavilion,” delicately sculpted in ivory complete with tiny individual figurines is also not to be missed.

The museum includes a historic, wood paneled, two-story library rotunda complete with caryatid topped ionic columns famed as the location where Mata Hari notoriously danced in the nude in front of a statue of Shiva to publicize the museum’s art collection.  A gallery of impressive Chinese laquer screens caps the rotunda and offers a magnificent view across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and beyond.

Stop by the basement café for Asian inspired fare including pick-me-ups like a ginger infused milk shake.  Your visit is not complete without strolling just up the block to the museum’s renowned Buddhist Pantheon boasting hundreds of Buddhas all surrounded by a traditional Japanese garden.



“Head of King Jayavarman VII” (Cambodia) – 12th Century

“Bodhisattva Maitreya” (India) – 1st Century

“Causeway of the Giants” (Cambodia) – 12th Century

Guimet Museum Paris


Official Museum Site


Guimet Museum

(Musée Guimet)

6, place d’Iéna

75116  Paris, France

(1) 56-52-53-00


Current Exhibitions:

Carte Blanche to Jiang Dahai

October 19, 2016 through February 6, 2017


Images of Ascetics, Sultans and Maharajas from the Pages of Historic Indian Literary Manuscripts in the Guimet Permanent Collection

October 19, 2016 through February 13, 2017


Upcoming Exhibitions:

Alexandra David-Néel

February 22, 2017 through May 22, 2017


Kimonos – The Ladies Delight

February 22, 2017 through May 22, 2017


113 Masterpieces in Gold from the Guimet Permanent Collection

June 21, 2017 through September 4, 2017


Must See in the Permanent Collection:

  • “Bodhisattva Maitreya” (India) – 1st century

  • “Head of Shiva” (India) – 10th century

  • “Head of King Jayavarman VII” (Cambodia) – 12th century

  • “Kneeling Woman” (Cambodia) – 12th century

  • “Causeway of the Giants” (Cambodia) – 12th century

  • “White Dragon Vase” (China) – 14th century

  • “Ming and Qing Bowls” (China) – 15th to 18th centuries

  • “Ivory Pavillion” (China) – 18th century

Visiting Hours:

Open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


€7.50 for an adult ticket to the permanent collection.

€5.50 for a senior ticket (60 and over) to the permanent collection.

€9.50 for an adult ticket to a temporary exhibition which includes access to the permanent collection.

€7 for a reduced rate ticket (60 and over/ 18 to 25) to a temporary exhibition which includes access to the permanent collection.

Free for children 17 and under.

Free for all the first Sunday of the month.


Purchase Tickets Online


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