The Musée d’Orsay is housed in the former Orsay railway station, inaugurated for the World Fair on 14 July 1900. From 1900 to 1939, the Orsay station was the head of the southwestern French railroad network. However, from 1939, the station no longer served the country but only the suburbs of Paris, as its platforms had become too short for the modern trains. The official decision to build the Musée d'Orsay was taken during the interministerial council of 20 October 1977, on President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's initiative. The building was classified as a Historical Monument in 1978 and a civil commission was created to oversee the construction and organisation of the museum. The President of the French Republic, François Mitterrand, inaugurated the new museum on 1 December 1986, and it opened to the public a week later.