Jean Cocteau Museum - The Bastion

Jean Cocteau Museum - The Bastion

An essential stage in the work of Jean Cocteau, the Bastion was the first museum dedicated to the "Prince of Poets", inaugurated in 1966. In 1957, while working on the decorations of the Salle des Mariages in Menton, Jean Cocteau noticed a abandoned 17th century fort located between the port and the Promenade du Soleil: the Bastion.

The mayor at the time, Francis Palmero, offered to make it a museum of his works and the artist, enchanted by the place, accepted, refuting the term museum: "I will change my works as soon as they will be used to it". The place becomes his testament museum. Jean Cocteau carefully follows every detail of this creation, from the decoration of the loopholes of the upper floor to that of the frontispiece, passing by the ground floor which represents a lizard "symbol of Mediterranean laziness", in mosaic of pebbles. He also chooses his works, from a list drawn up in 1958 and specified until his death in 1963.

Unfortunately Cocteau will never see the opening of the site since he died in 1963. It is his legatee Edouard Dermit who will complete the work according to the directives he left. The “Musée du Bastion de Jean Cocteau” was officially inaugurated in 1966, in the presence of the artist's lifelong friend, Francine Weisweiller. The original collection contains 102 works, integrated over time by other donations and acquisitions. In 2005 it was merged with the Wunderman Collection to form an exhibition of over 2,500 pieces. Today the Bastion is an essential stop on the tour to discover the work of Jean Cocteau in Menton.

The museum presents a series of temporary exhibitions on themes related to the work of Jean Cocteau.

Cover image: Patrick Varotto, photographer


Museum collection

Timetable and tickets


Quai Napoléon III – Bastion du Vieux Port
06500 Menton


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