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    Exhibition program at the palace of Versailles

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    Until 9 November 2016, discover the story of Trianon as a Palace of the Republic.

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    New visitor tour from 5th January 2016

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    Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles

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    20 years of archaeological excavations in Versailles

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    Versailles Festival 2016

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Restored bathroom of Marie-Antoinette

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Some details of the panelling before restoration

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Restoration of the bathroom of
Marie-Antoinette

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Restoration

On 7 November 2011, the palace of Versailles officially opened the bathroom of Marie-Antoinette, restored thanks to the joint sponsorship of the Société des Amis de Versailles and the Amis Européens de Versailles.

The bathroom is located in the Queen’s Small Apartment, on the ground floor of the central section. This apartment which was fitted out in 1782 for Marie-Antoinette had three main rooms: a bedroom, a library and a bathroom. The bathroom was refurbished in 1788 and decorated with wood panelling by the Rousseau brothers, sculptors, based on the designs of the architect Richard Mique. It was then dismantled in the 1830s during the fitting out of the History Galleries of Versailles for king Louis-Philippe.

The new presentation opened in November 2011 is the result of a three-fold operation: completion of the restoration of the decor, refurnishing and exhibition of works produced to mark the occasion.

The restoration work began in 1984 when, in application of the 1978-1982 programme law, the original panelling was put back in place and completed, at the same time as the marble tiles. The recent work involved gilding the mirror rims, restoring the panelling and door and window frames and designing the lighting fixtures.

The room’s furniture until recently consisted only of the bed from the bathroom of Louis XVI in Compiègne and a gilded wooden console table from the bathroom of Madame Adélaïde in Versailles. It has now been enriched with several chairs, candlesticks and wall sconces, as well as a copper bath, taps and a pail for washing the feet. The choice of these furnishings was guided by the interpretation of the inventories of the royal residences and iconographic research: they come from acquisitions and donations, and deposits made by the Louvre museum and the Mobilier national.

The originality of the project resides in its aim to illustrate the private life of the Queen. The painter, dress designer and artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, who became famous with her collection of paper dresses covering 300 years of fashion history, harnessed her talent to this project. Taking her inspiration from period documents and portraits of Marie-Antoinette, she produced three figures evoking the Queen and her entourage. Different objects all made from paper, dressing-table accessories and covers for the furniture complete this stage-design.

The restored, refurnished and stage-designed bathroom of Marie-Antoinette will be accessible during the following themed visits. These visits are in French only.

Detail of the panelling © EPV / Christian Milet

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