Home » Welcome to the Gainsbourg house – Il Sole 24 ORE

Welcome to the Gainsbourg house – Il Sole 24 ORE

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Welcome to the Gainsbourg house – Il Sole 24 ORE

Listen to the audio version of the article

Paris, rue de Verneuil 5bis. It is here that Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991) lived for 22 years of his existence. Author of unforgettable pieces, irreducible tombeur des femmes, true flâneur of feelings with a sensual voice, with his eternal Gitanes and lots of alcohol. For a few months, the kingdom of the chansonnier with his somewhat cursed charm, poised between genius and recklessness, has become a house-museum. Son of Russian Jewish immigrants, before becoming a legend of French song (but also actor, director, composer), he started out as an ambient pianist. A talent inherited from his parents, Joseph Ginsburg, pianist and Olga, mezzo soprano.

Serge, Lucien

Serge, Lucien at birth, had then changed his surname. The world of chanson welcomed him in 1958. A rise to success that was not easy before a long gallery of best sellers including swing, jazz, exoticism, author’s music and avant-garde albums. A bohemian life dotted with stormy loves. Among the most incisive relationships, the one with Jane Birkin – how can we forget their duet in the then scandalous Je t’aime… mois non plus – after numerous other conquests, including Brigitte Bardot, a short idyll fervent with inspirations, including the aforementioned song .

Charlotte is certainly the daughter (among the various children she had) who experienced a deep attachment to her father. She is the tutelary deity of the house in which she had lived her childhood before the separation of her parents Jane and Serge and which she then continued to frequent on weekends until Gainsbourg’s passing.

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A house museum for Serge Gainsbourg

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After a long oblivion, in which everything remained intact, even Serge’s footprint on the sofa, Charlotte wanted the place of family memories to become a cultural institution dedicated to the history and work of her father. “I felt a duty to preserve this place as it is. For me it is a place of worship, of pilgrimage. I turn the key and go in. I close the door behind me. Time has stopped. The smells remained. I hold onto the memories. In the silence. Sometimes I listen to the murmurs coming up from the street. Fans who have come this far, who parade in front of the graffiti, write and draw on the previous ones. I imagined opening the door for him since 1991, but I wasn’t ready, it took more than thirty years. Today I invite you to immerse yourself in this world full of pieces of life, of objects each linked to a different era of my father’s life. Moments embodied by his melodies, by his voice,” says Charlotte.

At the Maison Gainsbourg you can visit the house – with an audio guide in which Charlotte’s voice leads visitors into the rooms of her childhood – and the museum where the showman’s career is retraced with emblematic and unpublished gems, a video journey and temporary exhibitions. To top it off, the bookshop-boutique and the welcoming Gainsbarre, inspired by Gainsbourg’s early years as a pianist, a café and piano bar where you can stop for a quick lunch or an aperitif animated by live jazz music.

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