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A self-funding museum
The Musée Rodin, under the supervision of the French Ministry of Culture, has unique status as the only national museum in France to be fully self-funding. Thanks to Rodin’s donation of his works and possessions to the French state in 1916, the museum can still meet this economic challenge over a hundred years later.
The artist’s donation of his original molds and models and the associated intellectual property rights provided his museum with an enduring source of financial independence. Like engraving and photography, sculpture involves edition from a matrix. In the case of sculpture, up to twelve numbered casts can legally be produced; these casts are original works and can be sold by the museum.
The limit of twelve casts has now been reached for some of Rodin’s best known works, but many other lesser-known sculptures, representing different facets of Rodin’s art, continue to interest art collectors and institutions. The sale of original bronzes represents between 30 and 35 % of the museum’s annual budget.
The Musée Rodin holds the moral rights to Rodin’s work. Its mission is to preserve, study, enhance and disseminate his work and collections and, like any other museum, to fulfill a public service role.