Ageing Pompidou Centre in Paris to close for four years for renovation

The Pompidou Centre, one of Paris’s top cultural attractions and home to Europe’s biggest modern art collection, is to close from 2023 for four years of renovations, France’s culture minister has said.

Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Pompidou Centre opened in 1977 and is showing visible signs of ageing.

“There were two options,” culture minister Roselyne Bachelot told the Figaro newspaper on Monday. “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.

Like all cultural attractions in Paris, the Pompidou Centre closed from March to June last year during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic and has been closed again since late October.

The Pompidou Centre will be closed for renovation from 2023 to 2027.
The Pompidou Centre will be closed for renovation from 2023 to 2027. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

The building’s radical design pushes almost all its structural and mechanical elements to the exterior, freeing up vast exhibition spaces on the inside.

A maze of blue airconditioning conduits, green water pipes, yellow electrical casings and red elevators are on display outside.

The bold project in the historic heart of the French capital faced heavy opposition at the time in the 1970s, including lawsuits, but it has since become a much-loved landmark.

A total of 3.2 million people visited the museum in 2019 before the onset of the coronavirus crisis.