Housed in the handsome Palais Conti, a neo-classical mint built in the 1770s, this high-tech museum tells the tale of global and local coinage from its pre-Roman origins, using sophisticated displays and audio-visual presentations. The history of the franc, from its wartime debut in 1360, is outlined in detail.
Alongside its historical heritage, the Monnaie embraces modernity: the stunning Palais is mainly used as an exhibition space for contemporary artists and a culture hub for Parisians. The Monnaie’s temporary exhibitions often examine the relationship between old and new, exploring the contrast between the historic location and the modernity of the exhibiting artists.
By 2016, the larger museum grounds (spanning an impressive 1.2 hectares at the heart of the 6th arrondissement) should be fully renovated. On the cards are five interior pedestrian streets, art and foundry workshops, 1000m2 gardens, shops and a gourmet restaurant under the renowned chef Guy Savoy. Follow the progress here.