Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (The Museum of Art and History of Judaism) reflects the history of Jewish communities in France, Europe and North Africa; from the Middle Ages to the present; and enables its visitors to explore and understand Jewish cultural heritage.
The museum collection includes symbolic objects and fundamental texts which are essential to an initial understanding of the permanence of Jewish cultural heritage. It also includes archives of the Dreyfus affair (a famous political scandal), objects of art, textiles, manuscripts, a 182-seat auditorium and a collection of mediaeval tombstones.
Located in the Le Marais, a historic district in Paris hosting many outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance, the museum dates from 1986, when the then Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac made the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan available for a museum of Jewish civilisation. The convertion of its interior started in 1993, and the initial collection was formed in 1998 by combining Musée de Cluny (National Museum of the Middle Ages) with the holdings assembled since 1948 by the Musée d’Art Juif (a private museum of Jewish art). This collection has been enhanced by acquisitions and donations of art, historical and ethnological objects.