The Pompidou Center in Paris will close three years to undergo a “total renovation” | Culture



The closure of museums, that unpublished stamp that the pandemic has made common in many parts of the world, especially in France, will have a non-health continuation in Paris. At the end of 2023, when the coronavirus is expected to be nothing more than a bad memory, the Center Pompidou will close its doors again for three years to undergo a “total renovation” of the iconic building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers that it opened its doors in January 1977. The idea is that the profound interior and exterior facelift of the building located in the heart of Paris and famous, among others, for its caterpillar-shaped exterior staircase, is ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary early 2027.

“The works are a guarantee for the future of the Pompidou Center,” said the institution’s president, Serge Lasvignes, in a statement. “It is about preserving our first masterpiece, the building, which has not undergone any deep renovation since 1977.”

The Pompidou seeks his ‘Guernica’

The main objective of the works is to completely remove asbestos from the façade to “meet safety standards,” according to the Pompidou. All the windows will also be replaced and the corrosion suffered by the main structure and all the metal locks will be treated. In addition, the paint and floors will be renewed and the elevators, hoists and metal stairs of the forum, among others, will be changed or modernized.

Cheaper and in less time

Likewise, it will be used to carry out the necessary renovations so that the building, visited in 2019 by 3.2 million people, “meets the safety, technical and energy standards in force, as well as the accessibility standards for the public with disabilities ”.

The Center’s library, the main public reading room in Paris, will be moved to a temporary location

The works will have an estimated cost of 200 million euros. According to the French Culture Minister, Roselyne Bachelot, to the newspaper Le Figaro, which announced on Monday the news of the Pompidou closure, “there were two options on the table: one was to restore the Center by keeping it open, the other was a total closure. I chose the second one, because it lasted less and was somewhat less expensive ”. Carrying out the works in stages while maintaining access to the public would have extended the project up to seven years.

The Center’s library, the main public reading room in Paris, will be moved to a temporary location. Lasvignes also wants to take advantage of the closure of the museum’s headquarters to strengthen its subsidiaries and promote national and international “collaborations”. “We are already working hard on ambitious projects. The closure period will not mean a pause in our missions, quite the contrary! ”He said in the statement.

Speaking to Agence France Presse, the director of the Center Pompidou still acknowledged the “challenge” of closing a museum like this in the heart of Paris. Especially when other spaces that constitute a potential competition await their premiere, such as the Pinault collection in the old Paris Stock Exchange, whose inauguration last Saturday has had to be postponed sine die due to the pandemic, but it is expected to be immediate as soon as the Government allow the reopening of museums and public monuments, closed since the beginning of the second lockdown, on October 30.

However, Lasvignes considers that the Pompidou could not wait any longer to be renovated. “The works are essential for it to remain that world icon of modernity and contemporary architecture that attracts millions of visitors every year. I congratulate myself on this decision that will allow us to celebrate our 50 years in style and that fully inscribes the Center in the 21st century, ”he said.


elpais.com