Pompidou Centre (Paris) partners the Citroën-Yser cultural centre

29 September 2016
Rudi Vervoort with Serge Lasvignes (Copyright Rudi Vervoort)Rudi Vervoort with Serge Lasvignes (Copyright Rudi Vervoort)

The Minister-President of the Brussels Region, Rudi Vervoort, and the president of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, Serge Lasvignes, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the transformation of the former Citroën garage into a cultural centre of global stature.

The Region has purchased the building on Place de l’Yser, by the Canal, in order to turn it into a major cultural venue that will host various facilities including a new museum of modern and contemporary art (the cultural plans for which will be developed jointly by the Region and the Pompidou Centre) and the International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture and Landscape (CIVA).

‘This project will have a leverage effect, restoring vitality to this area and re-establishing the links between the two banks of the Canal, but the idea is also that this site should become the definitive cultural vessel of the Brussels Region,’ said Rudi Vervoort.

The regional authorities have opted to enter into a partnership with the Pompidou Centre, which will make works available from its extensive collection. The Pompidou Centre’s world-famous collection of more than 120,000 items leads the field in modern and contemporary art in Europe. It is a reference collection for all twentieth and twenty-first century art. From its extensive historical collections to more recent acquisitions, it covers the visual arts, drawing, photography, new media, experimental film, architecture, design and industrial foresight.

The Brussels Region also plans to take advantage of the Pompidou Centre’s internationally renowned expertise. ‘The Pompidou Centre will contribute to the cultural programme and bring its expertise in cultural planning. It will also provide advice and assistance on the strategy for the acquisition of the permanent collections and for the development of the future museum,’ said its president, Serge Lasvignes.

The partnership between the Region and the Pompidou Centre will develop in two phases. The first of these, which is the subject of the agreement signed today, is the anticipatory phase; the second will involve implementing the project on the basis of the approach determined during the anticipatory phase.

An architectural competition for the development of the site will be launched by the Region in the last quarter of this year. The project design team, led by Yves Goldstein, the coordinator appointed by the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, will present its findings in late July 2017.

This will result in the signing of a structural partnership agreement between the Region and the Pompidou Centre by the end of 2017. The museum is scheduled for public opening by 2020 at the latest, and the first exhibition should be organised in 2018.

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