BEAUBOURG MUSEUM (GEORGES POMPIDOU) - Paris
The Pompidou Center, better known
as Beaubourg, is still one of Paris most touristic places and one
of the world's most visited museums.
It was built between 1977 and 1981 by Piano and Rogers. Its architecture
is the symbol of rationalism: the structure is completely visible
and the decoration is directly made on this structure. For instance,
one can see every pipe and know what it contains from its color.
The iron structure is outside so as the escalators. This gives a
large 5 stories place with no walls inside. This is very convenient
to organize the museum around the pieces or for the temporary exhibitions.
This is the French National Modern Art Museum. Il contains collections
of the XXth century, with master pieces from Picasso, Braque, Matisse,
Dalì, Chagall, Miro...
After the recent modernizaton for the new millenium, realized by
architects Renzo Piano, Jean François Bodin, Dominique Jakob
and Brendan Mc Farlane, the MNAM (Musée National d'Art Moderne)
in Paris has become even larger than New York Modern Art Museum
(MoMA), its biggest rival.
But The George Pompidou Center isn't just an art gallery: it also
holds a library, a graphic laboratory, a video library, an architectural
and design collections, a industrial creation center, an institute
specialized in experimenting sounds and music and the reconstruction
of the great sculptor Constantin Brancusi's atelier.
The most amazing side of the Pompidou Center, its true secret, is
its huge room where everybody can wander about without getting bored,
as if it were a colourful amusement park.
What is most important, it gives the opportunity to enjoy modern
art to visitors who may not know anything about it, allowing them
to have fun and feel full of wonder like a child on a merry-go-round.
The record crowds at the Public Information Library, with
14,000 people a day, sometimes annoy other visitors. While easily
explained (encyclopaedic collections, free access without membership
cards or registration, 1,800 reading desks), the shortcomings and
inadequacy of university libraries in Paris are also partly to blame.
With its 450,000 books, 2,600 magazines and journals, and 2,400
videos (not to mention the use of new technologies), the BPI maintains
its remarkable standard through a constant process of "weeding
out" to remove as many volumes as are added to keep up with
Rue du Renard Paris 4e
How to get there
Metro line 1 or 11 : Rambuteau, Hotel de Ville or Châtelet
R.E.R A, B ou D : Chatelet les Halles
Bus : 38, 47, 72, 76, 85
Informations, hours, entrance fees & acces map.
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