The Centre Pompidou in Paris could fully close for three years or partially close for seven years for a multi-million euro refurbishment to be carried out on the 1970s building, starting in 2023.
The plan is currently under consideration by the French government, who will decide how to go forward with the essential maintenance work (via The Art Newspaper).
Speaking to Le Figaro, Centre Pompidou president Serge Lasvignes said: “No substantial work has been done on the building since it opened in 1977.
“There are two hypotheses: either we do [the refurbishment] by closing it completely and it will last three years. [Or] we stay open and it will last seven years.
“But this poses additional problems, including that of asbestos removal.”
Plan under consideration by French government
The Centre Pompidou’s spokesperson confirmed that two plans have been proposed, including “a total closure in 2023 for three years to accomplish all the work that needs to be done”.
“This would imply [organising] a programme of exhibitions outside of our walls.”
On the potential seven-year renovation, the spokesperson added: “As of today, both hypotheses are being reviewed by the government, which should decide which way to go in the months to come.
“Being a national museum, such an important renovation campaign has to be decided at state level along with the budget.”
The cost could be around €200 million, according to Lasvignes. Refurbishment of the gallery started in summer 2019 and should be completed by summer 2021.
Renovation cost could be around €200 million
Lasvignes also revealed that the centre has lost approximately €20 million this year due to COVID-19.
“We managed to save €8m largely by postponing projects,” said Lasvignes. “We haven’t cancelled anything. We have rescheduled our pre-crisis programme.”
The Centre Pompidou’s storerooms will transfer to its new satellite venue in southern Paris in late 2025, and the majority of the Musée National d’Art Moderne’s holdings will move to the new hub at Massy (Essonne).
The Centre Pompidou previously opened a major new waterfront museum in Shanghai, known as the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project.