Serge Gainsbourg’s Paris home to be opened to the public

Serge Gainsbourg’s Paris home is to be opened to the public later this year.

Since the legendary singer, actor, artist and director’s death in 1991, his home has become a shrine for fans around the world who have left messages, graffiti portraits and flowers outside the home.

The property, which is owned by his actor daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg, has been kept as it was since he died. Now, the property will open to the public on September 20.

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Much of his music was composed at the piano in the property’s living room and several of his album cover photos were taken in the house.

As per The Guardian, among the 25,000 items in the property include photography, musical instruments, his clothes as well as paintings by Salvador Dali and Claude Lalanne.

The Maison Gainsbourg website describes it as the “first cultural institution dedicated to Serge Gainsbourg”. It is expecting around 100,000 visitors per year.

As well as the house at 5 bis rue de Verneuil, a museum will open opposite the property with a bookshop and a cafe-piano bar, ‘le Gainsbarre.’

Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg at the Cesar Film Awards 2020. Credit: Rindoff/Charriau/Getty Images.

His daughter Charlotte has been working on the project for some time.

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In 2021, Charlotte told AFP: “In the first 10 years (after his death) when I was the most sure of the project, it was complicated to make it happen. And then, I went backwards because it was all that I had left of him, so I kept it like a treasure.”

During the pandemic, Charlotte said she took “a step back … and [realised] that it had to be done. For the public but also for my mental health. I have to be able to detach myself from it. It has to be a place that is truly rooted in Parisian heritage, that is accessible.

“It’s his mansion, we’re not going to discover things about his work but the framework of his work. It’s him, his personality, it’s quite surprising. We have the image of artists who are in immense, luxurious spaces, but here it is relatively modest.

“At the beginning, it was the family house, with my mother, my sister, him and me. In my mother’s (Jane Birkin’s) time, there was very little, and then there was more and more of a very arranged mess. He turned it into a museum full of objects while he was alive, and it was hard to walk around without being afraid of breaking something.”

Back in 2019, Charlotte spoke out about reactions to her work in what she calls a “politically correct” culture, and suggested the art made by her father would have been heavily censored today.

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