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Art & Artifacts

Marie Curie’s workshop on the move

The Pavillon des Sources will be taken apart and reassembled brick by brick in a new location to free up space for cancer research

by Laura Howes
February 1, 2024


A brick building behind a metal fence. Contruction signs on the fence say the site is closed to the public.
Credit: Curie Institute
The Pavillon des Sources at the Curie Institute will now be moved instead of demolished.

A small brick building where Marie Skłodowska-Curie stored radioactive materials for her work is to be moved “a few dozen” meters in Paris and begin a new life as part of an enlarged Curie Museum. The building’s fate has hung in the balance in recent months as the competing needs of cultural preservation and scientific progress have been debated in France.

The Pavillon des Sources was slated to be demolished in early January to provide the Curie Institute, which owns all the buildings on the site, with space to build an additional research facilities for its chemists and biologists in central Paris. But campaigners led by local activist Baptiste Gianeselli called for the building to be saved as part of the city’s cultural heritage.

The campaign to halt the demolition resulted in a last-minute reprieve for the building Jan. 5, when then-culture minister Rima Abdul Malak posted on X that she and Thierry Philip, chairman of the institute’s executive board, had agreed to look for possible alternatives.

The solution, announced Jan. 31, is that the Pavillon des Sources will be moved within the site to become a new wing of the Curie Museum, freeing up space for the institute’s expansion plans.

The compromise will allow both Curie’s heritage and the institute’s modern scientific research to continue says Alain Puisieux, director of the Curie Institute Research Center in a French language news release announcing the decision.

But the move has not been universally welcomed. On X, Gianeselli described the decision as “incomprehensible,” arguing that moving the building runs contrary to the idea of preservation..



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