The inauguration ceremony of the Villa Viardot renovation project took place on Tuesday, October 29, with a stirring emotional note. The restored Villa Viardot is scheduled to open on July 18, 2021, for the bicentenary of the birth
of its illustrious occupant, Pauline Viardot. This restoration is the first step of a larger project where tangible and intangible heritage will echo in harmony: the future Centre Européen de Musique.
Famous artistic salon of the singer and composer Pauline Viardot during the 19th century, the Villa was in a state of advanced disrepair when Jorge Chaminé, a renowned baritone, discovered it in 2000. Moved by this emblematic place of romantic cultural and intellectual Europe, he decided to mobilize individuals and public authorities around the safeguarding of this heritage classified as a Monument Historique.
The future Centre Européen de Musique will be located at the foot of the Impressionists’ hill in Bougival.
The Heritage Lotto funds for Villa Viardot
Thanks to his determination, the Villa Viardot is now emerging from oblivion and disregard. Today, the funds collected make it possible to begin work on its restoration and thus ensure the stability of its frame. The Heritage Fondation, which benefits from the funds raised through the Loto du Patrimoine, has allocated €500,000 to the restoration work on the Villa Viardot. The Total Foundation contributed €100,000 to this project. The total amount of the various stages of the work is estimated at more than €3 million. The Drac and the Ile-de-France region will complete the renovation needs of the building. Restored by the architectural firm Gabor Mester de Paradj, the Villa Viardot will contribute to the future Centre Européen de Musique outreach.
Speech of Jorge Chaminé, President of the Centre Européen de Musique at the launch of the restoration work on Viardot Villa in Bougival.
The CEM will be a space of transmission, creation and artistic and scientific experimentation that will bring together the Villa and the house where Georges Bizet composed his famous opera, Carmen. In addition to these two heritage sites, new buildings will be built according to eco-responsible standards: a music academy, an auditorium, an agora of musical cultures and traditions, a therapeutic and sports area, a research laboratory « Music and Brain » and an intergenerational musicians’ residence. As stated by Hermann Parzinger, executive president of Europa Nostra, in his speech : « With the CEM and Jorge Chaminé, Memory has a Future ».