In front of the Quinta Normal Park in Santiago, Chile, you will find the Paris Pavilion, home to the Artequin museum. It was built in France in 1889, where it represented Chile in that year's Exposition Universelle in Paris. The expo attracted exhibits from Europe, South America, The United States, and the French colonies.
The Paris Pavilion (photo courtesy of Museo Artequin)
From finding your way out of the stylish Metro station at Quinta Normal (Line 5), you will emerge amid a series of cultural centres, museums and public activities in the local area.
Looking south from the park, a shape appears in the distance which prominently stands out from its surroundings. As you get closer, the more impressive it becomes. This is the Artequin.
The building was constructed by the French architect Henri Picq who, after winning an architecture competition in his native country, got the gig thanks to completing the necessary requirements of experience in steel constructions.
The Paris Pavilion (photo by André Rudstedt)
It often happens that the Paris Pavilion is associated with the famous architect Gustave Eiffel, perhaps because of the fact that his masterpiece, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the same exhibition and using the same materials as the Paris Pavilion. As it is, Eiffel's influence in Chile is restricted to the Estación Central in Santiago, and churches in Coquimbo and Arica.
At the Paris exhibition in 1889, the structure was presented as 'The Chilean Pavilion' and was supposed to demonstrate Chile's progress in trade, shipping, education, agriculture and the army.
After the exposition reached its end, the Paris Pavilion was dismantled and transported to Valparaiso, and then finally transported by train to Santiago.
After spending three years in bits, it was reconstructed in Quinta Normal and appeared in the Exhibition of Mining and Metallurgy in 1894.
The second floor (photo by André Rudstedt)
Since then the building has belonged to various institutions, until following its restoration in 1992, it was repainted in its original colors and the Artequin museum moved in.
When the Artequin museum started their activities twenty years ago, they had the vision of creating connections between art, education and entertainment. These days the museum stages many different workshops run by professionals, looking at how art can affect us in our everyday life.
Av. Portales 3530, Estación Central, Santiago
Metro: Quinta Normal
Telephones (56 2) 681 8656 / 682 5367 / 681 8569
Tusedays to Fridays 9:00 - 17:00.
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays 11:00 - 18:00.
Tuesdays to Saturdays: $ 800 Adults, $ 500 Children, students and seniors.
Sundays: By donations.