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The Grand Palais located not far from the most famous parisian avenue is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex. Its construction began in 1897 after the Palais de l'Industrie (Palace of Industry) was demolished. The site was used as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900, which also included the creation of the adjacent Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III.
The structure was built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture with the use of techniques that were totally innovative at the time, such as its glass vault, its structure made of iron and light steel framing, and its use of reinforced concrete. Today this architecture is still a beautiful frame for all the major exhibitions that are hosted here.
The grand inauguration took place 1 May 1900, and from the very beginning the palace was the site of different kinds of shows in addition to the intended art exhibitions. The golden age of the art exhibitions as such lasted for some thirty years, while the last took place in 1947. The first major Henri Matisse retrospective after his death was held at the Grand Palais.
It was because of construction problems that the building closed down to public. One of the glass ceiling panels fell in 1993 and the main space had to be closed for restoration work. It was not fully reopened to the public until 2007.
Now the Grand Palais host some of the greatest exhibitions hold in Paris every year. Topics and themes are really different and concern all kind of art, time or artists.