Raise awareness of economics through art, games and culture. Within Hotel Gaillard in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, Cité del’économie aims to introduce another way to study economics.
The location was not randomly chosen. Gaillard’s private residence in the Mareshelves district (17th arrondissement), which has belonged to the Bank of France since the early 19th century. Witness the majestic sign at the entrance of the building bearing the name of the banking institution founded by Bonaparte. A considerable symbol for popularizing economics!
A mission that Cité del’économie has been carrying out since its opening in 2019.
“”Economics is taught from high school, and unlike other disciplines, until now there has been no dedicated cultural place for all French classes to understand this discipline.“, Philippe Gineste, director of Citéco, explains.
The museum has a large asset that attracts the general public. It’s a building. Built in the 19th century in the Neo-Renaissance style, Hôtel Gaillard is listed as a historic building. There are several times there. This comes from multiple lives that the building knew in a century and a half.
The first hotel started between 1878 and 1884. This hotel was the home of Emile Gaillard, a banker entrepreneur, patron and great collector with a passion for Renaissance architecture. Second Life began in 1923, when the building became a branch of the Bank of France, servicing entrepreneurs and rescuers in the Plaine-Monceau district, and then fully expanded. It was in operation until 2006.
The building was also recruited as a field hospital during World War I. The third life is when Citeko lived there.
Therefore, during your visit, the old woodwork, inspired by the castle of Loire, is on par with old bank counters and today’s big screens and other digital tools. Illustration of a large hall with a ballroom and ticket office where a vintage fireplace still remains.
“”This place walks on two legs. The first is a historic building in Paris, witnessing the intention of reconstructing a neo-Gothic dream from the end of the 19th century. The second is an educational and educational intent for school audiences and families who want a better understanding of the world around them.“, Confess Philip Ginestet.
And to this end, Citéco offers a wide range of activities to promote understanding and learning of the economy.
Supply and demand, competition, unemployment, economic crisis, underground economy, purchasing power … concepts that may seem abstract. Thanks to movies, explanatory videos and games, Citéco provides all the elements to understand them.
“”The idea is to allow the general public to be relevant to the knowledge provided to you in an interactive exhibition that you have to play and operate.Through play, you can learn content more easily than books“, Philippe Gineste, director of Citéco, explains.
The establishment also offers many other entertainments. For example, in a safe room. Visitors are also given the opportunity to touch real gold sticks and can also use the “Photo Bifton” photo booth where they can turn their faces to the banknotes.
The safe room also houses the collections of the French National Library and the Bank of France. The general public of the course stays for an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes. “”For a cultural place, it is very important (duration). This shows that the general public feels good there and wants to maintain and enjoy the quality of what is offered to them.“, Philip Ginestet believes.
Near the safe is also an old moat that was subsequently emptied. They were built to prevent robbery.
The museum also hosts mediator-led visits and workshops, especially for the youngest, generally school children from elementary to high school. About today’s program: Workshop “Negotiate and decide”.
A BTS communication class accompanied by two professors will help the game. The 19 students are divided into two groups. Buyers on the one hand and sellers on the other. Objective: To have the best negotiations regarding the purchase or sale of a product. Students play, participate, and sometimes speak out to get the most out of the game. “”These workshops are great ideas.Anything interactive is great for them“I confess one of the two teachers.
You always have to approach economics and find an interesting way to get back to it a little further away.Aurélie, programmer of Cité del’économie
Meetings and live shows are also held. They are performed by programmers within the museum itself and / or with the help of external actors such as artists and associations. On the other hand, these programs are aimed at young students and workers.
“”Our mission is to bring the economy to a cultural and artistic background, making it fun and allowing us to question ourselves.Within the programming department, approaches need to be diversified“Aurélie, a programmer in the facility, explains.”You always have to find a fun way to approach economics and a little away from it to get back to it.“, She adds.
Citeco offers a temporary exhibition. Currently, Simone Weil is honored until October 31, 2022.
All other museum-sponsored activities, workshops and conferences can be found on the museum’s website.