The Guimet Museum (French: Musée national des arts asiatiques [MNAAG] or Musée Guimet) is a museum of Asian art located at 6, place d'Iéna in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France. It has one of the largest collections of Asian art outside Asia.
Founded by Émile Étienne Guimet, an industrialist, the museum first opened at Lyon in 1879 but was later transferred to Paris, opening in the place d'Iéna in 1889. Devoted to travel, Guimet was in 1876 commissioned by the minister of public instruction to study the religions of the Far East, and the museum contains many of the fruits of this expedition, including a fine collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and many objects relating not merely to the religions of the East but also to those of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. One of its wings, the Panthéon Bouddhique, displays religious artworks.
Some of the museum's artifacts were collected from Southeast Asia by French authorities during the colonial period.
From December 2006 to April 2007, the museum harboured collections of the Kabul Museum, with archaeological pieces from the Greco-Bactrian city of Ai-Khanoum, and the Indo-Scythian treasure of Tillia Tepe.
Works of art of the museum
- Gandhara Buddha, 1st-2nd century CE.
- Hellenistic decorative scrolls from Hadda, northern Afghanistan.
- Wine-drinking and music, Hadda, 1st-2nd century CE.
- A Corinthian capitol with a Buddha at its center, 2nd century, Surk Kotal, Afghanistan.
- Scene of the life of the Buddha. 2nd-3rd century. Gandhara.
- Portraits from the site of Hadda, 3rd century.
- Head of a Bodhisattva, 6th-7th century terracotta, Tumshuq (Xinjiang).
- Han Dynasty Horse (1st-2nd century)
- Buddha triad, Eastern Wei (534-550), China.
- Tang Dynasty Foreign Merchant
- One of the Group of glazed pottery luohans from Yixian, c 1000
- Painting Bodhisattva Who Leads the Way from Mo-kao caves, 900-950 A.D.
- A Buddha, 2nd century, Mathura.
- Buddha of the Gupta period, 5th century, Mathura.
- Head of a Buddha, Gupta period, 6th century.
- Rishabhanatha, sandstone, Madhya Pradesh, Chandela period, 10th-11th century
- Rishabhanatha, 11th-12th century
Southeast Asian art
- Brahma 10th century, Cambodia
- Hindu deity Vishnu, Vietnam
- Ganesha, Siem Reap, Cambodia, c. 12th-13th century
- A Cambodian Buddha, 14th century
- History of the Museum (in French).
- National museum Arts asiatiques – Guimet, Marie-Catherine Rey et al. Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des Musées nationaux, 2001, translation by John Adamson, ISBN 2711838978, Chronology, p. 6.
- Patrick Howlett-Martin, « Où ira le buste de Néfertiti ? », Le Monde diplomatique, no 700, juillet 2012, p. 27.
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