The Molitor Pool, an Art Deco Masterpiece, Has Disappeared


12/6/12 - Heritage - Paris, Piscine Molitor - We had mentioned it in our recent webcast L’Art sur un plateau : the Molitor swimming pool, an Art Deco masterpiece still in use in 1989, has been entirely destroyed to favor real estate development by the City of Paris, which owns the site and has now granted a 54-year concession to a private group.


1. What is left of the Molitor swimming pool
State as of 30 May 2012
Photo : Didier Rykner

2. A view of the demolition site of the Molitor swimming pool
State as of 30 May 2012
Photo : Didier Rykner


3. A view of the site panel
The pool is not destroyed it is being "rehabilitated" !
Photo : Didier Rykner

We are personally upset because this destruction, an act of senseless and idiotic vandalism had been planned for a long while. Since learning the news about two years ago we had not found the time to research the case and discuss it on The Art Tribune although, in fact, the truth is we were too naive, believing that its listing would protect it from such a fate.
Indeed, incredible as it may sound, the pool was protected as a historical monument since 1990 and remains listed as proven by this entry in the Mémoire database of the French Ministry of Culture. However, a listed monument "may be demolished" if the administration in charge of historical monuments gives its authorization, which seems to have been the case here, carried out with maximum discretion.

The 20/11/11 issue of Le Figaro stated, "twenty-two years after closing, this Art Deco jewel and its two basins of 50 and 33 meters will soon be renewed". Our photographs show what is left of this "Art Deco jewel" ! Everything is being destroyed (except for a few walls) and will be reconstructed, adding some square meters in order to install a profitable hotel. To keep up appearances on pretext of respecting the historical listing, some of the original elements will be placed at strategic spots in this entirely new building. This is what the City of Paris’ internet website calls a "renaissance" ! The article states : "samples of cabin doors, glass or cabins have also [been] taken, as testimony of the building designed by the architect Lucien Pollet [...]. They will be used by the craftsmen to reproduce Art Deco elements in the new Molitor, which will recover its original spirit."

Paris City Hall continues to distinguish itself for its daring.

Version française


Didier Rykner, mercredi 13 juin 2012



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