Asian Art Museum , Nice Provence Attractions

Asian Art Museum
In Nice, tourists can combine a visit to the beautiful Parc Phœnix (with a variety of plants, animals and birds) and to the Asian Art Museum situated almost in the territory of the park. It was opened here in 1998.

Musee des Arts Asiatiques de NiceA small building of this museum was built on the shores of an artificial lake under the design of the famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Its collection is rather modest (about two hundred exhibits), but very curious, especially for those interested in the culture of Asia and the East.

All the items presented in the museum have undeniable historical value. Thus, the visitors can see a marvellous funeral statue of a kneeling woman (China, Han period, III century), lacquered figure of meditating Amida Nyorai (Japan, Edo period, XVIII century), Japanese wooden lacquered container for tea (the end of the XV - beginning of XVI century), Japanese ceramic horse of VI century, gold plated pair statue of white-tailed deer of XVII-XVIII century from Central Tibet (they symbolize the Buddha's first sermon), Indian hand-painted fabric of XVIII century depicting a young god Krishna, and so on.

Many visitors are attracted to the Asian Art Museum by the opportunity not only to get acquainted with the static exhibits, but also to participate in the «live» classic Japanese tea ceremony organized here. Also in the museum in a special pavilion the presentations of Chinese tea traditions are held. (All explanations for tourists are in French).

The idea of opening the Asian Art Museum belongs to the mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin. The citizens trusted this man who was able to «fit» in the history of Nice a few bright (though at times controversial) pages. He was elected to the mayor’s post for five times!

Jacques Médecin, while in the 90s being under the impression of art of the French sculptor Pierre-Yves Trémois (often exhibited in Japan) decided to create in the city the museum dedicated to the art of Japan, China, India and Cambodia. The mayor invited the famous architect Kenzo Tange to Nice for the design of the museum.

He created a design of quite an unusual, light and bright building which itself can rightly be considered a work of Oriental art. Tange decided to use two basic geometric shapes which in Japanese tradition have sacred significance: the circle, a symbol of sky and a square symbolizing the earth.

Four white marble cubes surround a circular rotunda also made of marble, and the whole structure is topped with a glass pyramid. In each of the cubes there are the rooms dedicated to the art of any one of the eastern countries.

Map - Asian Art Museum



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