A chocolate-Thinker? Count me in for the Grand Reopening of the Musée Rodin in Paris!

  • It was a ruin when he lived there, then nearly ruined by millions of trampling tourists after his death. Now the Musée Rodin has been playfully vamped up – and it’s even got a giant chocolate tribute to France’s most famous sculptor
Thinking man’s chocolate … Rodin’s Le Penseur. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
Thinking man’s chocolate … Rodin’s Le Penseur. Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

The once shabby mansion in Paris where the sculptor Auguste Rodin worked until his death in 1917, reopens to the public on 12 November – and it is now so chic, warm, accessible and elegant that the artist would surely have been astonished.

The splendid high-ceilinged rooms and strengthened floors of this, the Hotel Biron, are full of sculptures once more – not just Rodin’s work, but sculptures by his pupil and lover Camille Claudel (which have been brought out of storage for the first time) and thousands of fragments of Greek and Roman sculptures that he bought by the crateload for inspiration.

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Paternal figure … a visitor looks at a bust of Rodin in the Musée Rodin. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images
Paternal figure … a visitor looks at a bust of Rodin in the Musée Rodin. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

The opening displays include a unique tribute to the artist, in the nuns’ former chapel, which now serves as a temporary exhibition space. The chocolate-maker Patrick Roger, who is displaying chocolate versions of The Thinker in all his shop windows, has created a Rodinesque sculpture that will remain in place until February. The towering, tree trunk-sized sculpture looks and smells alluringly like chocolate, but to the disappointment of all visitors, is labelled “non-edible”.

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