Walking into Villa Empain for the first time is a unique experience. You are blown away by the sheer opulence of the whole thing, standing in a house straight out of the Great Gatsby and the gilded jazz age. The architectural details hit you next and you ask yourself if you have somehow stumbled into an interbellum murder mystery à la Hercule Poirot.
In 1930 Baron Empain, industrialist and financier, constructor of the Paris metro, commissioned the villa to be built in the most fashionable style of the day: Art Deco. 80 odd years later and the villa has been a museum, home of the Russian embassy and headquarters of broadcaster RTL.
It is now the property of the Boghossian Foundation, which has beautifully restored the villa and dedicated it as a venue for artistic dialogue between East and West. It is worth visiting for the building itself, but the rotating exhibitions are also very interesting.
The current exhibition looks at the activity of reading and tells the history of the book and the chair. “Entre deux chaises, un livre” runs until the 7th September.