In January 2012, the Établissement Public du Palais de la Porte Dorée was officially created by decree. It brings together within a historic monument, the Palais de la Porte Dorée, a museum, the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, and the Tropical Aquarium. Each of these entities has its own collection, along with its own spaces and programmes.
The Palais de la Porte Dorée was built on the occasion of the International Colonial Exposition of 1931. Its prime vocation was to be a museum of the colonies, tasked with representing the territories, the history of colonial conquest and its impact on the arts. The Tropical Aquarium was also created for the Exposition, to display aquatic fauna from the colonies. It has been in constant operation ever since.