The CNCS in Moulins

The CNCS, a national cultural institution at the service of the territory

Cultural decentralization 300 km from Paris, in the delightful town of Moulins may seem a daring bet. The bet has been won by the National Center for Stage Costumes and Scenography housed in the Villars Quarters, a sublime 18th century building with up to 80,000 visitors per year from all over France, it has gained international renown and become a driving force for tourism in the Allier and the Auvergne.

Since its opening in 2006, almost 600,000 visitors have been captivated by this magical site displaying opera, dance and theatre costumes. Such a wonderful adventure begun by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the town of Moulins, the Allier and the Auvergne Region: preserve, exhibit and explain the pieces of a collection that is unique in the world made up of 10 000 costumes or more than 20,000 elements.

A priceless heritage! But also a heritage that is fragile and was little known to the general public before the opening of the National Center of Stage Costumes.  This institution was created from the desire of major cultural institutions and performing arts professionals to unveil and protect these precious «treasures». This realization coincided with the determination of the State to save Villars Quarters by transforming it into a site dedicated to the glory of performing arts material.

Through the CNCS, Moulins has made a grand entrance into the elite circle of beautiful cities that must be stayed in for cultural visits. Enhancing the image of the town and forging constant ties with tourism.