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Visit the Pompidou Centre

As much criticized as lauded, the Pompidou Centre stands as a symbol of the boldness and modernism of the French, and the inherent difficulties that are posed when a radical break from architectural tradition takes place in the historic centre of the city. Designed by an Italian-British team of architects, Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, in the 1970s, the building sits like a giant urban oilrig in the Beaubourg area, not far from the historic Hotel de Ville. Conceived so that all of its services: water, air-conditioning, electricity, elevators, escalators and stairs should be located on the on the exterior of the building, thereby maximizing the interior space, the centre is revolutionary in both its design and conception but has been cause for controversy due to its perceived gaudiness.

The centre not only houses the biggest modern and contemporary art collection in Europe, but also an extensive public library, cinemas, cafés and an exclusive roof-top restaurant with incredible views over the city. On entering the structure visitors will notice how light-filled, spacious, and fluid it is. The architects have purposefully eliminated the vertical structures in the interior so that nothing is stuck or fixed in its place — everything can be changed, or rearranged.

Temple of Art dedicated to 20th and 21st century

To visit the Pompidou centre is to discover one of the largest collections of Modern and contemporary art in Europe. With more than 76,000 works that appear on continual rotation − revisiting the Pompidou after a long absence from Paris means that you are unlikely to see the same works twice. Starting on the forth floor retrace the history of art from 1905 to 1965, then descend to the third floor and take in the collection from 1965 to today. Afterwards, take in some of the extraordinary views of Paris from the top floor. World-class temporary exhibitions take place in the galleries on this level. Consult the website for more information. The Pompidou proposes a complete panorama of artistic creation from the 20th century, which includes, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, film, and performance.

The Must-See Artists

Some of the major artists on show are Pablo Picasso, George Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Wassily Kandinsky, René Magritte, Mark Rothko, Man Ray, Louise Bourgeois, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock.
Don’t miss the recreation of a wall from Andre Breton’s studio. This astounding collection of curios, objects procured at Paris flea markets, and works of art by Breton’s friends from the surrealist movement, is a fascinating insight into the life and mind of the man who is credited as being instrumental in theorising and leading the surrealist movement.

If you feel like splashing out on an expensive glass of wine while you watch the sun set over Paris, then take a table at the uber-chic Georges Restaurant on the top floor of the museum. The dramatic views won’t disappoint: Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Invalides and countless other Paris landmarks are visible from this modern rooftop restaurant.

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