Maison Gainsbourg: First cultural institution dedicated to French icon Serge Gainsbourg opens

The former home of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg has been a site of pilgrimage for his fans for more than 30 years. The building in the 7th arrondissement of Paris is plastered with images of the late French icon and various other artworks.

Starting today, Wednesday 20 September, the legendary home will be turned into a “house museum” open to the public where people can take a 30-minute tour of the nearly intact residence of one of France’s most celebrated singer-songwriters of the 20th century.

The project was organized by singer-actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Serge, who wanted to show the life and personality of her father.

It is her voice that will guide visitors through the home while sharing memories and explaining the significance of certain areas of the space that has been untouched since the death of Serge Gainsbourg in 1991.

The opening of the former home to the public is accompanied by a museum and gift shop across the street, as well as a café that will transform into a piano bar at night. The complex will be the first cultural institution dedicated to Serge Gainsbourg.

As of today, all tickets for the “House and Museum” tour are sold out, but tickets for the museum are still open.

Who was Serge Gainsbourg?

Pierre Gleizes / AP
French singer, composer Serge Gainsbourg - Pierre Gleizes / AP

Gainsbourg experimented with numerous genres of music and art but is probably best known for his early pop work. Songs like 'Je t'aime...Moi non plus' and 'Bonnie and Clyde' even crossed borders to become international hits in the United States and the United Kingdom.

His music often included provocative, subversive and sexual tones and lyrics which were largely responsible for his cult-like following.

In the 1980s, Gainsbourg was at the centre of several controversies. One of his most notable scandals took place in 1984 when he released a music video for his song 'Lemon Incest' with him shirtless on a mattress with his 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte.

In addition to his music career, he was also well known for his paintings. One of only a handful of paintings was put on auction in 2021 and was valued between €30,000 - €50,000.