July 19, 2017
"A little bit of Paris is landing in Shanghai. The Centre Pompidou in Paris has just announced its long-awaited cultural partnership with Shanghai's new West Bund Art Museum, which will host a satellite gallery for the Paris museum in the Chinese cultural capital. The wing is to be called the Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund), and already has 20 exhibitions slated over the course of the initial five-year run.
The collaboration was cemented by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between France and China, with the hopes of inspiring future cultural communication between the two countries. Works from the Pompidou's collection will be on display at West Bund, and over time the Pompidou is expected to show some of China's most amazing masterpieces as well. The Pompidou hails this as a "first step" in the collaboration between the two institutions.
Construction of the West Bund Art Museum is already under way, with a scheduled completion date of 2018 and an opening in 2019. The David Chipperfield–designed structure will live on the bank of the Huangpu River as part of the West Bund Museum Mile. Other museums on the seven-mile stretch of land include the Long Museum, the Yuz Museum, the Shanghai Center of Photography, the Tank Shanghai Art Park, and the Start Museum.
The deal has been under negotiations for over a decade, and, now that it's signed, the partnership will commence in 2019. This isn't the first satellite post for the Pompidou, which already boasts a series of branch galleries in Málaga, Spain; Metz, France; and one planned for Brussels. When it first opened in 1977, the Paris Pompidou was applauded for its revolutionary design that places its mechanical and system infrastructures on the outside of the building, painted in vibrant hues. The museum is home to some 12,000 works of art and is considered to be the second most important collection of modern art after New York's MoMA."