The history of the Pavillons de Bercy-Musée des Arts Forains is closely linked to its creator’s life, Jean Paul Favand , a collector of items in the performing and fairground arts, as well as an exhibition designer.
The Musée des Arts Forains was first established in Gentilly , then moved to the 15th arrondissement of Paris and finally settled in 1996 in an ancient wine storage facility in Bercy, the “Chais Lheureux”.
In the 19th century, the Bercy neighbourhood was known as a festive area. The Joyeux-Bercy, which was at the time beyond the borders of Paris, benefited from the privilege of tax removal on wine. Naturally, “guinguettes” were established there, along with the main wine traders. Wine was thus actively sold and drunk.
Now called Pavillons de Bercy, the site brings back to life past festivities by being a lively place full of memories of the most traditional performing arts. It welcomes over 300 000 visitors every year for evening events, guided tours and special openings (for example for the Festival du Merveilleux).
With its documentation centre and restoration workshops, the museum is a place of discoveries and preservation. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies, Jean Paul Favand is able to both restore and stage his prized objects here.