The musical instrument tower


The musical instrument tower, designed by Jean Nouvel, is a centrepiece of the building’s architecture, like an open window to the various behind-the-scenes parts of the museum, where the musical instrument collection is housed.

The tower showcases the 10,000 instruments conserved on 6 levels, and highlights the central importance of the collection. This heritage, which reflects the diversity of different cultures and their musical practices, is not immune to the wears of time. The fragility of the materials jeopardises the durability of certain rare and precious pieces, some of which are several centuries old. Lute from West Timor, drum from Tahiti, vielle from Syria, xylophone from Bali…

Remodelling works from April 2019 to early 2020

Major works have been undertaken to improve the conditions under which the works are conserved and handled. A vast restoration programme concerning around one hundred works was also undertaken during the same period.

Le projet en chiffres

The improvements

The works were launched following studies carried out by the museum’s Conservation-Restoration Centre and Collections Management team. The aim was to improve the conservation conditions of the works on the one hand (reduced fire risk, anti-dust measures, improved climatic conditions), and to improve the conditions for handling the pieces on the other hand (improved flow, adapted lighting, redesign of work stations, etc.).