PARIS- Architecture-2 By Marie-Jose Wolff
France will celebrate its rich architectural traditions this weekend with the opening of a major new museum in the heart of Paris.
The Museum of French Monuments spans 800 years of French architecture. It is housed in the east wing of the Chaillot Palace, opposite the Eiffel Tower.
The exhibition occupies three galleries, spread over 8,000sq m (86,080 sq ft).
It includes plaster casts of church facades and copies of vast murals.
Numerous models are also used to explain the development of French architecture down the centuries.
"We are showing a history of French architecture from the 11th Century to the present day," said the project's director, Francois de Mazieres. "We didn't want any break between old and modern."
The exhibits include a reproduction of a futuristic 20th-Century Le Corbusier apartment built in Marseille. The original is regarded as one of the architect's masterpieces.
The museum project - called the City of Architecture - was launched in 1994. It suffered delays and budget problems, leaving a final bill of 80m euros (£55m), the French daily Le Monde reports.