THE POMPIDOU Centre – one of France’s most bizarre and beloved tourist sites – is to remain closed for three years while it receives a much-needed refurb.
The iconic Paris landmark, home to Europe’s largest modern art gallery, was opened in 1977 and is beginning to show obvious signs of ageing. The Pompidou centre has been closed for much of the pandemic, and France’s cultural authorities recently gave the greenlight to keep the building closed from 2023 to 2027.
“There were two options,” culture minister Roselyne Bachelot told the Figaro newspaper, “One involved renovating the centre while keeping it open, the other was closing it completely.
“I chose the second because it should be shorter and a little bit less expensive,” she said.
The Pompidou Centre is famous worldwide for its radical design – keeping the mechanical and structural elements on the outside to create maximum exhibition space in the interior. Visitors can see the building’s maze of green pipes and yellow electricity casings from the outside, even while it remains closed.
During its construction in the 1970s, the building faced huge opposition from some groups including lawsuits. While many thought the bizarre structure didn’t belong in the historic centre of Paris, it is now one of the capital’s most beloved landmarks that saw 3.2 million visitors pass through its doors in 2019.
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