The popular Pompidou arts centre in Paris now has a smaller cousin 170 miles to the east.
The Metz Pompidou will have no permanent collection of its own but will show, in six-month or yearly rotations, parts of the vast collection of 65,000 contemporary works held by the Pompidou in Paris, most of which are never displayed.
There are also spaces in the spectacular new building for other contemporary art forms, including cinema, modern music and dance.
Metz, the capital of the Lorraine region, is hoping to recreate the success of the European arm of New York’s Guggenheim museum, which has transformed the fortunes of Bilbao in northern Spain since 1997.
The director of the Metz Pompidou, Laurent Le Bon, said: “For us it’s a little French Revolution – yet it’s such a simple thing. We are just saying that the big collections are for everyone, not just for Paris.”
This is the first stage in a drive to decentralise the French state’s enormous art collection. A branch of the Louvre will follow in 2012 in Lens, a former coal town only an hour from the Channel Tunnel.
by Andy Moreton
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