Le Corbusier-designed museum of art reopens in Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The National Museum of Western Art in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on April 8, prior to its reopening.

After a 1½-year-hiatus for renovations, the National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) in Taito Ward, Tokyo, reopened on April 9. Trees and hedges have been removed, and Auguste Rodin’s sculptures have been relocated so that its front yard is as clean and simple as when it opened in 1959. Designed by French architect Le Corbusier, who is known as the father of modern architecture, the museum was registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2016.

“Various secrets that Corbusier left in the front yard have become visible now,” Director General Masayuki Tanaka said at a press conference on April 8. The 19th Century Hall on the first floor of the main building, which used to be a paid area, will be free to enter for the time being.

To commemorate the renovation, a special exhibition “In Dialogue with Nature — from Friedrich, Monet, Van Gogh to Richter” starts from June 4 until Sept. 11, featuring impressionism and 20th century paintings owned by the NMWA and Museum Folkwang in Germany.