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In 1893 Albert Kahn, a French banker and philanthropist, acquired a large property in Boulogne-Billancourt, in the western suburbs of Paris, where he established a unique garden containing a variety of garden styles including English, Japanese, a rose garden and a conifer wood. This became a meeting place for French and European intelligentsia until the 1930s when due to the Crash of 1929, Kahn became bankrupt. At that time the garden was turned into a public park in which Kahn would still take walks.

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In 1909 Kahn traveled to Japan on business with his driver and photographer, Alfred Dutertre, and returned with many photographs from the trip. This prompts him to start a project to collect a photographic record of the entire Earth. He appoints Jean Brunhes as director of the project and sends photographers to all continents to record images of the planet using the first color photographs, autochrome plates and the first cinematographic techniques.


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Between 1909 and 1931 they collected 72,000 color photographs and 183,000 meters of film. These documents form a unique historical record on 50 countries, known as the Archives of the Planet.


Since 1986, the photographs have been collected in a museum at 14 rue du Port, in Boulogne-Billancourt, on the site of his garden.

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Kahn created the gardens between 1895 and 1910. They gradually increased in size, eventually reaching four hectares of landscaped scenes

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Landscape designer Fumiaki Takano redesigned the Japanese garden as a tribute to Albert Kahn in 1989. It is said to be a metaphor for Kahn's life.

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The circular fountain evokes the spiritual journey of Albert Kahn. The pink pebbles placed around represent the Archives of the Planet.

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