The Palais de la Porte Dorée is an exhibition hall, built in 1931, that now houses the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, as well as a tropical aquarium in its cellar. It provides 16,000 square metres of exhibition and office space. External bas-reliefs by sculptor Alfred Janniot portray ships, oceans, and wildlife including antelopes, elephants, zebras, and snakes.
The Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration is a museum of immigration history, conceived in 1989 by Algerian immigrant Zaïr Kedadouche and established by President Jacques Chirac with a mission to study and document the role immigrants played in the French society.
The Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration has a large exhibition space devoted primarily to the history and culture of immigration in France from the early 19th century to the present. A permanent installation, “Benchmarks”, contains interactive exhibits presenting immigrant stories in multimedia form. The museum’s collections are organised by three main themes: images including photography by Eugène Atget, Gérald Bloncourt, Robert Capa, Yves Jackson, Jean Jacques Pottier, etc., as well as prints, posters, drawings press, cartoons, comic books, audiovisual materials; objects of daily life; and works of art concerning immigration, territory, borders, and roots.