PARIS (AP) — After a six-year closure, and fears over its possible extinction, Paris’ Museum of Mankind has reopened following a 92 million-euro ($105 million) renovation.
French President Francois Hollande inaugurated the world-class collection Thursday, which includes the skull of French philosopher Rene Descartes alongside the skull of a Neanderthal man.
“The museum is a hymn to the unity of mankind”, Hollande said.
Six rooms show the evolution of man — with 700,000 prehistoric and 30,000 anthropological objects explaining the origins of racial difference, languages and human diversity over millions of years.
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Former French President Jacques Chirac removed around half the contents of the museum to fill his landmark legacy project, the Quai Branly museum — and many had voiced doubts about the future of the Museum of Mankind.