Paris, Jun 21 (EFE).- The iconic Paris department store La Samaritaine will reopen to the public Wednesday after 16 years of construction.
What was once a popular bazaar in a 19th century art nouveau building has been transformed into a temple of luxury and beauty products conceived by luxury brands conglomerate LVMH.
“After 17 years of waiting, Paris rediscovers one of its architectural masterpieces. A department store designed at the end of the 19th century with nurseries and social housing. More than 3000 jobs created! Our heritage is alive and well!” French president Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.
La Samaritaine first opened in 1870 and underwent several extensions throughout the years before it started losing the public’s attention in the 1950s. LVMH bought the building in 2001.
The restoration cost 750 million euros and revives one of Paris’s most emblematic facades overlooking the Seine. The magnificent glass rooftop, monumental staircase and peacock frescoes are among the building’s eclectic characteristics.
The new version of the building aims to attract tourists and fashion trend followers as well as revive the day care facility and social housing apartment block it once hosted.
La Samaritaine will host the largest beauty sales department in Europe, with more than 3,400 square meters of its basement fully dedicated to the sector.
Within the 20,000 square meters dedicated to the department store – that will be run by travel retailer DFS – there will also be twelve cafes among souvenir and fashion shops. EFE