MANAGEMENT OF MONUMENTS
The Palais des Papes is owned by the City of Avignon, with the exception of the northern part of the monument, (north wing of the Benoit XII cloister ) which belongs to the department of Vaucluse.
The monument has five functions:
- Visits (about a third of the monument).
- Congress center (situated in the Conclave wing and the upper part of the Dignitaries wing, i.e. less than a quarter of the monument ).
- The Local Archive Office (located in the space belonging to the department i.e. less than a quarter of the monument ).
- The Avignon Festival which uses the main courtyard called the Cour d’Honneur from June to September. The Festival is administered by a board of trustees composed of the French State and the City of Avignon, and R.M.G puts the Cour d’Honneur at their disposal for the prestigious productions that are performed there during the festival.
Most of the remaining space has not been restored, e.g. the Tour de la Garde Robe and the upper part of the Tour des Papes (or Tour des Anges).
R.M.G. manages, on behalf of the City, all the necessary services and planning for the smooth running of these functions and also ensures the regular maintenance work, and transfers 20% of the annual turnover from the sale of admission tickets to the monument to the City of Avignon to cover the cost of any major restoration work on the historical monument.
At the same time as they ensure maintenance and restoration work, the City and R.M.G are also elaborating a promotion project in order to :
- improve the visitor’s welcome and regularly implement the visit circuits :
• Creation and implementation of comfort amenities (signposting, rest areas, refreshments…).
• Opening to the public of new spaces : the Great Dignitaries terrace, the Benoît XII Gardens…
• Continuous projection of the film « l’Autre Rome », about the history of the monument and directed by Jacques Malaterre, a film producer born in Avignon.
• Setting up of a scale model and interactive free-standing information counters for a better understanding of the monument.
• A single admission fee with a choice of either a tour with a qualified guide or a portable audio recording available in 8 languages (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Provencal). The explanatory commentaries for the main halls of the monument last 1h10, and 1h50 and provide detailed information.
This service already exists in museums and monuments such as the Louvre or the Château de Versailles, but it is charged in addition to the admission fee. The Palais des Papes is the 1st well-known monument to offer this service without any extra cost.
- to regularly organise cultural activities in and around the monument:
• Visits on a theme (« Mediaeval Gastronomy»…).
• Secret palace.
• Guided tour of the Musée de l’œuvre.
• Musée de l’œuvre (Seven halls in the Palace that retrace the history of the monument)
• Temporary exhibitions in the autumn and spring.
• Art exhibitions of well-known international artists in the Grande Chapelle during the summer season: Botero (1993), Dubuffet (1994), Picasso (1995), Rodin (1996), « Histoires tissées » (1997), « Trésors d’Horlogerie » (1998), « Primitive Passion » (1999), « La Beauté » (2000), Gao Xingjian (2001), « Monument de l’Histoire » (2002), « Trésors Publics, les 20 des FRACS » (2003).
AVIGNON TOURISME, apart from its managerial and organisation functions historically entrusted to R.M.G, also manages the Avignon Tourist Office