What is the Musée de l’Homme?

Inaugurated in June 1938, the Musée de l’Homme focuses on the evolution of humans and human societies, combining biological, social and cultural approaches. Located in the Passy wing of the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, a building originally constructed for the 1937 World’s Fair.

Humanity is one and indivisible, not only in space, but also in time.

Paul Rivet - Founder of the Musée de l'Homme 


Reconfigured in 2015, the new museum houses collections of prehistory, biological and cultural anthropology, a centre for research, higher education and training, and the dissemination of knowledge on the evolution of humans and human societies, all under the same roof. A place for discussion and open debate, it is the perfect place to broach major issues of interest to the human sciences. Visitors benefit from vast spaces devoted to current thinking on human life: the atrium, auditorium, resource centre, news hub, educational workshops, etc.

The permanent exhibition tackles three major themes through a variety of approaches, spanning the origins of humankind to our future: who are we, where do we come from, and where are we headed? The aim is to gain a better understanding of what it means to be human, of our origins and our place among other forms of life, and to explore our margin for adaptation to the world of tomorrow.

The visit abounds with the museum’s priceless collections: Cro-Magnon fossils, the Palaeolithic statuette known as the Venus of Lespuque, wax anatomical models, etc. The Musée de l’Homme prehistory and anthropology collections are among the world’s finest.

A museum of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle

The Musée de l’Homme is part of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, and is under the joint authority of the Ministries in charge of higher education, the environment and research.

The Musée de l’Homme is also a modern, working laboratory—a fully-active research and conservation centre with a focus on the natural and human sciences that have forged the identity of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle.

The activity of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle spreads over 12 sites throughout France.

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