Centre Pompidou to partner with Shanghai’s West Bund Art Museum

The Parisian Centre Pompidou is opening a satellite in China, to be known as Le Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund).

Centre Pompidou officials announced that more than 20 exhibitions and events will take place at the new outpost over the initial five year tenure.  Le Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund) will be based in a wing of the brand new West Bund Art Museum.  The 25,000 square metre building has been designed by UK architect David Chipperfield.

A memorandum of understanding has been agreed between the French and Chinese delegations.  A final contract is set to be signed by the end of the year.  This will initially be for five years, renewable at the end of the term.

The initiative is seen as the longest-duration, highest-standing cultural exchange project between France and China.

Many artworks will be drawn from the Centre Pompidou’s Beaubourg Gallery.  However events won’t purely be French in style. They will also show works of Chinese contemporary art.  The initiative will be a two-way process.  “This cultural partnership will also allow the Centre Pompidou to present Chinese contemporary art in Paris,” says a gallery statement.

The five-year programme is expected to expand out into a range of cultural communications between the two countries.  Bilateral academic exchanges, training and exchange programs of international museum operation and management are likely to follow.

The Pompidou project is set to add to the 11 kilometre ‘cultural corridor’ on the Huangpu River.  The overall project is being driven by the district government of Xuhui and the Shanghai-based West Bund Development Group.  Xuhui has already invested around $3billion in the so-called “West Bund Museum Mile”, which includes privately run museums such as the Yuz Museum and the Long Museum.  The site was formerly an industrial area.

This is not the first time the Pompidou has launched a satellite exhibition space.  In early 2015, the Paris institution opened a pop-up in Malaga, Spain.  It charged an annual $1.6m fee for the service and it’s estimated that the cost to the Chinese museum will be similar.

Other branded Pompidou exhibition spaces are planned in South Korea and Brussels.

The West Bund Art Museum is due to open late 2018.  The new Pompidou wing will launch early 2019.

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