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Paris City Museum of Modern Art

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Another often overlooked museum by tourists but important nonetheless is the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (City Museum of Modern Art). Located in the Palais de Tokyo, in the 16 th arrondissement of Paris, the museum has on display a very impressive collection of modern art which includes works of art from Pablo Picasso, Henri Mattise, Englishman Henry Thomas Alken, Hans Bellmer, Maurice Utrillo, Yves Klein and American Man Ray.

The City Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo is not far from the Eiffel Tower across the River Seine, at about 1.5 km away via Rue de l'Universite to the Avenue du President Wilson, named after the American President who served as the leader of the United States during World War I. It is also quite close to the Jardins du Trocadero, directly across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower. So if you were to cross the Pont d'lena (d'lena Bridge), you could possibly visit both Jardins du Trocadero and the City Museum of Modern Art about 700 metres away. If you prefer a closer point in which to walk, you can take the Paris Metro Line #3 and debark at the lena stop, which is approximately 500 metres away or the even closer Alma-Marceau stop at 350 metres away on the same Paris Metro Line #3.

The Palais de Tokyo is named after the street it is located on, formerly known as the Avenue de Tokio during the early to mid part of the 20 th century. The palace itself was inaugurated in 1937 as part of a major international exposition dedicated to art and technology. Of particular interested related to the international exposition known as the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Technique dans a la Vie Moderne is that there was once was two large structures on opposite sides of the Eiffel Tower, one of which was known as the German pavilion, with a large swastika on the front of the structure and the other known as the Soviet pavilion. Unfortunately less than two years later, Nazi Germany occupied Paris in June 1940. The structures eventually were torn down and today it is all but forgotten.

One of the best features of the City Museum of Modern Art is that its permanent collection is free to the public and the only charge is for the temporary exhibitions. Another great feature is that you generally won't have to wait in line to enter the museum, nor will you experience large crowds of visitors.

The museum houses 8,000 pieces of art and hosts a number of temporary exhibits from contemporary artists from France. It was also the site of a major art heist in May 2010 in which five priceless works of art were stolen, including Pablo Picasso's “le Pigeon Aux Petis-Pois”(Dove with Green Peas) and Henri Mattise's “La Pastorale” estimated to be worth 100 million euros. These five paintings have never been recovered. It was known as the “heist of the century” by the French press.

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