Rodin museum contemplates Chinese sister site

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The Musee Rodin, a museum that houses collections of work by the master sculptor Auguste Rodin, will build a sister location in China, the first of its kind outside France. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Wu says the Rodin museum in China will have its own collection with technical support from the parent museum in France-Musee Rodin has a list of private Rodin collectors across the world and will help Wu to negotiate with them to sell and donate their works to the future Rodin museum in China.

Also a collector who runs her private European Art Museum in Hangzhou, Wu has two pieces by Rodin, which are displayed among a collection of about 200 artworks, mainly focusing on European sculptures made in the 19th century.

She says the museum in China will have frequent exchanges with the one in France. Exhibitions held at the Paris museum will also tour in China. The pieces on loan from Paris will also change from time to time to allow Chinese audiences to experience more of the sculptor's work.

The project is supported by France's culture ministry and China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Once the project is completed, it will be the first major foreign museum to set up a sister branch in China.

Du Pengfei, deputy director of Tsinghua University Art Museum, says Chinese museums at all levels share a common ground: they only have Chinese artworks and antiques. Where Chinese audiences go to regularly view Western art is still a question.

Although Chinese museums hold exhibitions to show foreign art, these shows, says Du, are temporary. The Tsinghua University Art Museum has held shows featuring Western modern paintings-the latest is an exhibition of work by Rodin's student, Antonie Bourdelle-which attract a lot of visitors, he says.

"Musee Rodin China is a good opportunity to increase the chances of more foreign museums opening Chinese branches in the future," he adds.

Musee Rodin was established in Paris in 1919 with a collection donated by Rodin to the state, including 6,600 sculptures and 8,000 drawings. The collection not only consists the sculptor's work, but also his own collection of art produced by friends and contemporaries, as well as ancient art.

It has two sites-Rodin's old home, the Villa des Brillants at Meudon and one in Paris' Hotel Biron and its surrounding grounds. They attract around 700,000 visitors a year total.

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