Controversy over how much it cost to build.
The initial cost of the museum was projected to be €100 million. In 2017, it was revealed that the actual cost was in fact almost eight times that figure. In November 2018, a French anti-corruption group filed a complaint accusing the Louis Vuitton Foundation of committing fraud as well as tax evasion during the construction of this building. Claims were made that the nonprofit branch of LVMH’s conglomerate were able to deduct 60% of the cost from its taxes in addition to requesting tax refunds on other costs. These claims state that of the €790 million construction costs of the museum the Louis Vuitton foundation received over € 600 million from the French government at the expense of French taxpayers.
Early stages of the development
It began in 2001 with a meeting between the LVMH Chairman, Bernard Arnault and Frank Gehry. They discussed the plan to build a new building on the Bois de Boulogne with plans to open in 2009/10. The park was owned by the city of Paris and a building permit was granted in 2007. Opponents to the project won a court battle over the use of a tiny road, deemed to be a public right of way. Eventually a law was passed that the Foundation was in the national interest and a major work of art for the world.
After meeting with Arnault, Frank Gehry visited the site where the building was to be constructed for some inspiration. He designed an imaginative structure inspired by the glass panels of the Grand Palais and the Palmarium in the Jardin d’Acclimatation built in 1893. The building was designed to reflect the principles of the 19th century gardens landscaping.
Funding and Management
LVMH funded the museum and it bears the name and logo of its flagship brand, that of Louis Vuitton. After 55 years of use the building will pass into the hands of the city of Paris to continue with the buildings management.