"BNP Paribas for Art”: two restoration projects completed for two landmark exhibitions

A supporter of the restoration of works in museums for 25 years, the BNP Paribas foundation is this year once again demonstrating its commitment by associating itself with two events this autumn, a season rich in exciting developments in heritage. These are the long-awaited opening of LaM, Lille Métropole Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut (Lille – museum metropolis of modern art, contemporary art, and raw art) and the presentation of the works of Eugène Leroy at the MUba Eugene Leroy, Musée des Beaux-Arts Eugène Leroy (Eugène Leroy fine arts museum) in Tourcoing.

It was on the occasion of the exceptionally generous donation of the works of Eugène Leroy (1910-2000) by the artist's sons, Eugène-Jean and Jean-Jacques Leroy, that the BNP Paribas foundation associated itself with the restoration of 45 paintings.

Working in oil on canvas, Eugène Leroy tirelessly altered his compositions, applying successive layers of colour. Some of his canvases were reworked in this way over more than 20 years. These paintings are being shown as part of a temporary exhibition of the artist's works, running from 10 October 2010 to 31 March 2011.

Also, the BNP Paribas foundation is supporting the restoration of 17 spiritualist paintings by Augustin Lesage and Victor Simon, exhibited at the opening of the LaM on 25 September.

These two artists were part of the spiritualist art movement born of the widespread practice of spiritualism beginning in the second half of the 19th century. Augustin Lesage (1876 - 1954) and Victor Simon (1903 – 1976) do not directly claim authorship of their works, but consider themselves intermediaries, "mediums” through whom spirits communicate.

These works will be shown alongside paintings by Fleury-Joseph Crépin (1875-1948), in the museum's new extension entirely devoted to raw art.

Located in the heart of Europe, the LaM is opening its doors to the public after a four-year programme of refurbishment and extension, to exhibit 4,500 works, which give visitors an overview of the main elements that make up art in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Launched in 1994, under the patronage of the French culture and communication ministry, in close collaboration with France's heritage directorate, the BNP Paribas art programme has to date made possible the restoration of more than 100 works in museums in France and abroad.

It is against this background that a Peranakan tapestry restored with the help of the BNP Paribas foundation will be shown at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, as part of the large exhibition Baba Bling, signes intérieurs de richesse à Singapour (Baba Bling: interior signs of wealth in Singapore) from 5 October 2010 to 6 February 20