Museum of Lodeve > The Museum > The Cardinal de Fleury Building 
The Museum's courtyard with it's mosaic pavement
The main staircase

History of the Museum of Lodeve

Housed within the walls of the Cardinal Fleury Building since 1987, the Museum of Lodeve is relatively young. Its collections, however, have been formed in a similar fashion to museums' collections of the late 18th and 19th centuries. After a visit from the French Geographic Society on 18th October 1868, it was decreed that a museum of petrographic and palaeontological resources would be established in the city of Lodeve.

A substantial gift from Jaques Audibert, an archeologist from Montpellier, initiated the collection. Over time, it was gradually enriched by other gifts and acquisitions. On the 25th January 1957 the city council decided to create officially the Museum of Lodeve, with the approval of the director of the Natural History Museum in Paris. Housed in the Carmes chapel, the museum was inaugurated on 26th May 1962 under the name of the first curator, Jaques Audibert.

Quickly out-growing this space with the arrival of many works from Paul Dardé's studio after his death, the collections were first given several rooms in the Cardinal de Fleury mansion. Then from 1978, owing to their growing importance, it became clear that the collections should be gathered in one place. The Museum of Lodeve was inaugurated in its new location on 10th July 1987. The museum was redeveloped in late 1996.

A large-scale extension project for the Museum of Lodeve was launched in 2010. It aims to improve the conservation and presentation of the collections, to upgrade the architectural heritage of the Fleury Building and to offer improved access for all visitors.