Chirac hails Pompidou Centre on its 30th birthday

1st February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 31, 2007 (AFP) - The French capital's landmark cultural venue the Georges Pompidou Centre marked 30 successful years on Wednesday, with the country's President Jacques Chirac hailing its groundbreaking cultural role.

PARIS, Jan 31, 2007 (AFP) - The French capital's landmark cultural venue the Georges Pompidou Centre marked 30 successful years on Wednesday, with the country's President Jacques Chirac hailing its groundbreaking cultural role.

"The Georges Pompidou Centre's vocation is to light the way. Its reason for being is to go beyond all boundaries," Chirac said of the institution, which houses the national modern art museum plus a music centre, cinema and library.

Speaking at an event to mark the anniversary of the centre, Chirac mentioned its expansion to China, where it plans to open a venue in Shanghai, and even raised the possibility of it extending its reach to other emerging markets.

"In the same spirit, it is necessary to think about the presence of the centre in Russia, India, Africa and South America," the president said.

Named after the former president of France who initiated it in the early 1970s, the glass and metal building's outlandish appearance -- with see-through tubes for escalators on its exterior -- was viewed sceptically by some in 1977.

It has since become one of France's top cultural attractions, however, drawing up to six million visitors a year -- ranking near the Louvre museum and a rival landmark, the Eiffel Tower, as one of the city's most visited sites.

The centre, whose art museum owns some 58,000 works of which around 2,000 are on display, is "as emblematic as the Eiffel Tower in the Parisian landscape," said the president of the institution, Bruno Racine.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Pompidou centre, Chirac

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