The bank for a changing world

"WWI" exhibition: the 2 Opéra mobilizes

  • 11.09.2014

WWI exhibition at 2 Opéra, ParisTo mark the centennial of WWI, BNP Paribas Heritage & Historical Archives Department sponsors this exhibition recalling the extraordinary leap of fate of BNP Paribas Parisian branch standing at 2, Place de l’Opéra in Paris during the Great War.

The 2 Opéra, a BNP Paribas branch since 1892

Whereas the Place de l’Opéra was laid out, the 2 Opéra premises were built at the corner of the Avenue de l’Opéra and Rue du Quatre-Septembre by Paris architect Henri Blondel from 1868 to 1873. The building was intended to serve as headquarters for “Société de Dépôts et de Comptes Courants”, a bank founded in 1863 to bring in new retail banking methods from England. After the bank was taken over in 1892 by the “Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris”, a direct forerunner of BNP Paribas, it turned it into its main branch in Paris. As such the 2 Opéra became the showcase of the “Comptoir”. In 2010, BNP Paribas refurbished this branch into an outstanding retail banking model called Concept Store. This innovation laboratory offers clients a new approach to banking relationships and enhances a thorough use of the newest technologies.

The 2 Opéra, an outstanding leap of fate during the Great War

That very location of the 2 Opéra – facing  the Opéra Garnier and at the corner of the Avenue de l’Opéra and Rue du Quatre-Septembre, conduced the building to take double part in the national events the financial institutions had to cope with daily during the war.

Inside, both the departure of the age-groups mobilized and the buzzing excitement of the National Defense loan subscriptions were marking time in the vast lobby.

In 1918, as the 4th National defense loan was launched, the bank activated an inventive and amazing advertising display of the famed poster Alsace-Lorraine designed by artist Auguste Leroux…

Discover the history of the 2 Opéra during the Great War and the display of a selection of war loan posters published by the French forerunner banks of BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas Branch Paris Opéra Garnier
2, place de l’Opéra
75002 Paris
15 September to 17 October 2014
Free admission
Monday to Thursday 9am – 6:30pm
Friday 9am - 5:15pm

Flip through the online catalogue:

WWI exhibition fluidbook

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