The Petit Palais, built in 1900 when Paris first hosted the Olympics, is to be restored in time for Paris 2024 after a new sponsorship deal  ©Getty Images

French banking giants and Paris 2024 Premium Partners BPCE have signed a sponsorship deal with Paris Musées - Paris Museums -which will see a new sports-themed exhibition at the Petit Palais art museum during next year's Olympic and Paralympics.

The deal will also support vital restoration work on the historic Petit Palais, originally built for the exhibition which accompanied the first Paris Olympics in 1900.

"The BPCE group, becoming a major patron of Paris Musées, gives major support to the Petit Palais, fine arts museum, in favour of its built heritage, its sustainable policy and its programming, in particular on the occasion of the Games," Paris Deputy Mayor Carine Rolland said.

As part of a three-year deal, a dedicated area of the museum is to become the "Petit Palais de Sport" for the period of Paris 2024, which is due to open with the Olympics on July 26 and conclude with the Paralympics on September 8. 

"Groupe BPCE, by becoming major sponsor of Paris Museums and main sponsor of the Petit Palais, wished to provide its active support for the restoration of this architectural masterpiece," BPCE Management Board Chairman Nicolas Namias said. 

"This approach reflects our desire to leave a strong legacy after the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The building is also to be used as a hospitality facility by its affiliated companies Banque Populaire, Caisse d'Epargne, Casden Banque Populaire, Crédit Coopératif, Natixis, Banque Palatine and Oney.

They expect to welcome 20,000 guests during Paris 2024.

The renovation of the Museum peristyle and other building improvement work forms a major part of the sponsorship.

Work is also set to improve the insulation of the attic and roofs of the building as part of the Petit Palais' Climate and Corporate Social Responsibility (RSO) Plan.

A audit of energy used by the building is also to be conducted and LED lighting installed in many of the galleries.

A fresco by Paul Baudoüin is to be renovated as part of the sponsorship deal  ©Paris Musees
A fresco by Paul Baudoüin is to be renovated as part of the sponsorship deal ©Paris Musees

An early 20th century fresco by painter Paul Baudoüin The Seasons and the Days, which covers more than 1,000 square metres, will also undergo restoration work under the terms of the agreement.

"The restoration of the peristyle and its fresco is a collective challenge which will mobilise heritage restorers and craftsmen, in particular specialists in the art of fresco and gilding," a BPCE statement said.

"It will make it possible to highlight heritage trades more broadly, and thus develop a taste for restoration and crafts."

A new visitor route is planned to emphasize the theme of the body and motion through works from antiquity to the present day, featuring dance, archery, swimming, cycling or sailing.

The exhibits will be open throughout the Olympic and Paralympic period with free entry.

The Olympics are set to open on July 26, 2024.