Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Prague seeks to open Czech Pompidou Center branch

Prague, Czech Republic – Prague might soon be hosting a local branch of the renowned French museum of modern art Pompidou Center,  according to the Associated Press.

On March 1, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis met with Pompidou Center president Serge Lasvignes at Prague’s Trade Fair Palace. After the meeting, he announced that the Prague National Gallery was currently working with the Pompidou Center to establish a branch of the world-famous modern art museum in the Czech capital.

Last year, Andrej Babis had already visited the Pompidou Center in Paris while on official visit in France.

According to the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister, the Paris-based Pompidou Center and Prague’s National Gallery are due to sign a memorandum of understanding to promote and accelerate the common project in May this year.

The Czech Republic isn’t the first country to try to open a local branch of the famous French modern art museum. The Pompidou Center already has branches in Malaga (Spain) and Metz, a city located in northern France, since 2010. A new branch is scheduled to open in Shanghai, China, later this year.

Also known as ‘Beaubourg’ due to its location in the eponymous district at the heart of the ‘Marais’, the Pompidou Centre opened its doors in 1977 and is named after Georges Pompidou, the former French President (1969 – 1974) who commissioned the building to gather the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Public Information Library and IRCAM, a centre dedicated to music and acoustic research and experimentation.

Today, the entire building, one of the most famous landmarks of the French capital, comprises 10 levels of 7.400 m², two movie theatres, a conference room, an auditorium, a library of over 10.000 m² and a research and documentation centre of 2.600 m².

The Pompidou Center, renowned for its bizarre architectural design, was described as an “oil refinery’ by critics at the time of construction. The work of a team of architects made up of two Italians (Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini) and one Briton (Richard Rogers)  – then largely unknown – the Pompidou Center is now one of the most popular highlights of the French capital and hosts the largest collection of modern art in Europe. It attracts between 3.5 and 3.8 million visitors every year.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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