Paris’s Centre Pompidou to shut for five years as part of major renovation project

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The Centre Pompidou in Paris will close from 2025 to 2030 under ambitious new expansions plans announced by the centre president, Laurent Le Bon. While the Beaubourg Gallery is closed, the institution will partner with the Grand Palais and the Louvre on a number of projects.

As part of the radical overhaul, the Centre Pompidou will expand into 20,000 square metres of space located under the gallery piazza into an area occupied by disused bus parks. These spaces will host Cinemas 1 and 2 but also be turned into areas for multidisciplinary exhibitions and contemporary creation sections.

Laurent Le Bon has been the President of Centre Pompidou since July 2021

© Didier Plowy / Centre Pompidou

On level one, a “new generation centre” will be set up on the north side while a large restaurant will open on the south side, replacing exhibition galleries three and four. The Public Information Library (Bibliothèque Publique d’Information) will remain in place across three levels; the Musée national d’art moderne will stay on two levels (four and five) but will be completely refurbished, housing the Brancusi workshop. A 1,500 sq. m terrace, offering “one of the most beautiful views of western Paris”, according to Le Bon, will be open to the public for the first time on level seven.

An architectural competition will be launched on 12 May. Six projects will be selected at the end of the year and the winner will be selected in 2024. The gradual closure of the Centre Pompidou will take place in the autumn of 2024 before final closure in the summer of 2025. Work will begin in early 2026 with the reopening scheduled for 2030. The cost of the technical upgrade, provided by the French state, is €262m; €160m in extra funding for cultural projects is still being sought.

France’s national museum for Modern and contemporary art, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano and inaugurated in 1977, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2027. During the closure, the Centre Pompidou’s projects will continue off-site. The culture minister Rima Abdul Malak announced 10 May that the institution will temporarily occupy the national galleries of the Grand Palais during this period. The Art Newspaper understands that the first exhibition organised by the Centre Pompidou at the historic site will be devoted to the art brut (Outsider Art) movement.

The Centre Pompidou will also enter into a partnership with the Louvre, presenting works in the various departments of the museum (the Objets d’Art department is first in the pipeline).

The initial restoration plan involved shutting down the Centre Pompidou for four years from the end of 2023 for essential maintenance work. Serge Lasvignes, the former president of the Centre Pompidou, explained that the renovations were needed due to corrosion, and wear and tear affecting the building.

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