Share story

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.

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.