Macron inaugurates branch of the Centre Pompidou art museum in Shanghai

Hector Retamal/Pool via REUTERS | French President Emmanuel Macron attends the inauguration of Centre Pompidou West Bund Museum in Shanghai, China November 5, 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated an outpost of Paris's famed Centre Pompidou modern art museum in Shanghai on Tuesday, the museum's first to open outside Europe following recent branch openings in Malaga and Brussels.  


French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in China on Monday seeking new business and climate deals with China. But France is also looking to exercise its soft power, with Macron inaugurating an outpost of the Centre Pompidou in Shanghai's West Bund cultural district.

The modern and contemporary art museum's first outpost outside Europe will include works by Picasso and Kandinsky among other pieces on display.

"Long live the friendship of China and France," said Macron in the inauguration after attending an international trade fair hosted by China.

“This is a world premiere [for a Western museum] but it is only a step.”

The Parisian centre will display its collection in a 25,000-square-metre building on the banks of the Huangpu River that traverses the financial hub of 24 million people.

Billed as the most important cultural cooperation project between France and China, the museum is owned by local developer West Bund, which has a renewable five-year agreement with the Pompidou Centre.

"China is today a major centre for artistic creation," Pompidou Centre President Serge Lasvignes told AFP. "It is also an essential place to build a new audience," said Lasvignes, adding that "young and passionate" Chinese are "progressively appreciating modern and contemporary art".

The French president was accompanied by his wife, Brigitte, as well as French musician Jean-Michel Jarre and Chinese painter Yan Pei-Ming.

The Pompidou Centre's other outposts are in Brussels and the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

The Shanghai branch will officially open on November 8.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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