Madeleine/Turrell project

National heritage & contemporary art

The Madeleine/Turrell project concerns the promotion of national heritage through restoration and enhancement. A world-renowned contemporary artist will work on the Eglise de la Madeleine along with architects and urban planners from the city of Paris. The project relies on joint private/public funding, but also the cultural blend of an historic place with a contemporary artwork, a complementarity which will bring life back to both this prestigious monument and its famous square.

The square will once again be one of the most beautiful in Paris. It will be a prestigious square, at the heart of the Quartier Royal/St Honoré/Grands Magasins neighbourhoods where both economic activity and tourism are more vibrant than ever. The Eglise de la Madeleine will take on a new appearance, that of a Parisian landmark, thus contributing to the national and international influence of Paris.

The project is based on a series of complementary actions : the restoration of the Eglise de la Madeleine and the artistic work of contemporary artist James Turrell*.

*James Turrell is the artist who has accepted to work on this project. He is known for his work with space and light, and was recently awarded the National Medal of Arts by the President of the United States. This façade project will be his second in Paris. He also lit up the Caisse des Dépôts building for the Nuit Blanche event in 2007, placing large luminous works on the façade. His interest in perception brings together artistic spirituality and sensory experience, and holds the promise of a major, unprecedented public artwork.

Restoration and illumination project

Interior and exterior restoration of the Madeleine Church

Estimated cost: €12 000 000 

Installation of a contemporary artwork

Cost: €3 000 000 

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: €15 000 000