Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 155 Reviews

Place Beaubourg, 75004

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  • Driving past the centre
    Driving past the centre
    by Martman
  • A Complex with lots of pipes and tubes
    A Complex with lots of pipes and tubes
    by shavy
  • Centre Georges Pompidou
    by shavy
  • Martman's Profile Photo

    CENTRE GEORGES POMPIDOU for ART

    by Martman Updated Feb 9, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This active fountain is just outside the centre.
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    This is mainly an art centre with emphasis on modern art. The architecture is what makes the museum unique. The design was to maximise movement by freeing up internal space. This was done by building the ducts and conveyance systems (stairs, elevators etc.) on the outside.
    Those ducts are colour-coded i.e. blue for air; green for fluids; yellow for electricity cables; and red for movement and flow (elevators) and safety (fire extinguishers).

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Centre Pompidou - Des goûts et des couleurs …

    by breughel Updated Nov 25, 2013

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    Is this Beaubourg?

    Before visiting the Centre Pompidou I had followed the architectural controversy in the French media so that on my visit in the 1980s I expected to find something that looked like my photo.
    I'm fond of petrochemical plants and admire chemical engineers who starting from a reaction developed in a small lab apparatus build a chemical plant extending on more than a sq. Km.
    Beaubourg was therefore a deception "this is not a chemical plant" Magritte would have said.

    Now about the collections: there are about 60.000 works, covering the whole range from painting to architecture, through photography, cinema, new media, sculpture and design.
    The works on view, about 1400, are alternated.

    Modern art from 1905 to 1960 is on display on level 5. Here I found some good things from Braque, Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, Picasso ("La Liseuse" and "Arlequin" from the 1920s), Rouault.
    On level 4 are the contemporary art creations from 1960 to the present.

    The artistic qualities of contemporary art are not clear to me in spite of my willingness to become a member of the club of initiated amateurs.
    Over the years I came to think that contemporary art comprises little art and much decoration or eccentricities. The contemporary art is like a religion; one does believe or does not believe.
    To say it in another way: "Des goûts et des couleurs on ne discute pas - there is no accounting for taste - De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum."

    There are 3,6 million visitors/year what makes the Centre Pompidou the third most visited destination in France after the Tour Eiffel and the Louvre. Do they come back for a second visit?
    I didn't.

    Open: every day except Tuesdays and May 1st. from 11 h. (!) to 21 h.
    Price (2013): Adult €13 or €11 depending on the period / concessions €10 or €9 depending on the period (this is more expensive than Musée d'Orsay 9 €).

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Modern art museum in a not so modern city

    by Dabs Updated Nov 19, 2013

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    Modern art is not really to my liking, I can stomach Andy Warhol or Pablo Picasso or Joan Miro but when I start getting into those sections of the museum where there's a blank white canvas or if I could produce it, with my artistic talents having been arrested shortly after stick figures, I maintain that it simply is not art and that someone is having a good chuckle over someone actually paying them for a piece of junk that my cat could produce.

    But when you travel with others, sometimes you have to compromise and go where someone else wants to go. I tried valiantly to not shuffle my feet, groan audibly or scoff outloud. But the visual assault starts before you even enter the building, the building itself a blight on the otherwise classy city of Paris. And the layout of the art seemed confusing and for such a well known museum, there wasn't any outstanding works, at least not according to my art student niece who was also disappointed.

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    The Pompidou Centre

    by shavy Written Sep 28, 2013

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    A Complex with lots of pipes and tubes
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    This modern art museum is the only one in the world that offers a complete overview of 20th-century art
    The presentation of the collection from the beginning of the last century until today is organized chronologically and multidisciplinary: both modern painting, graphic art and design as photography and new media are discussed here

    The museum has a selection of 1,400 works, ranging from masters of modernism (Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Ernst, Miró, Pollock) to the most recent creations with a look at new realism, Arte Povera and Conceptual Art

    The complex is housed in a striking building designed by two prominent architects of the 20th century architecture: Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. It opened its doors in 1977

    The Pompidou Centre also has a large public library, theaters, cinemas and musical research, all housed in the same complex. The multidisciplinary mission of the center is clearly reflected in the prestigious exhibitions and events

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    Stravinsky fountain

    by solopes Updated Jan 10, 2013
    Paris - France
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    Don't be mislead by the kids playing around the fountain near Georges Pompidou Centre - it is an artistic ensemble, as I read in Wikipedia:

    "The nearby Stravinsky Fountain (also called the Fontaine des automates), on Place Stravinsky, features sixteen whimsical moving and water-spraying sculptures by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle, which represent themes and works by composer Igor Stravinsky.

    The black-painted mechanical sculptures are by Tinguely, the colored works by de Saint-Phalle. The fountain opened in 1983"

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    The Centre Georges Pompidou

    by solopes Updated Jan 10, 2013

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    Paris - France
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    No, it is not a factory. No, it is not a docked ship.

    It is a large and modern cultural center, housing the biggest museum of modern art, a public library, and a research centre for music and acoustic effects.

    It is open since 1977, and it is one of the most visited places in Paris since then.

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  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Pompidou Center

    by Roadquill Written Oct 7, 2012

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    The Pompidou Center is worth the visit, even if it is just to view the whimsical exterior. However, inside, in addition to the modern art museum, there are exhibits, a movie theater, and on top the Georges Restaurant.

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    A cultural Monday

    by gordonilla Written May 14, 2012

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    Exterior (1)
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    This visit to Paris, meant we could try to visit the Centre again - this time there was no queue. So we entered quickly and then spent some 5 hours working our way through every gallery and exhibition.

    Buy the full ticket and try and use the automatic ticket machines.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Brought to you by people who design hamster cages

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Mar 31, 2012

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    Where hamster runs and scaffolding collide!

    There's industrial chic ... and then there's just inexplicable oddity ... and I know which side of the line I consider the Pompidou Centre falls!

    I suppose that in terms of initial impact on the senses, this building certainly achieves the stated intent in a 'no holds barred', total-assault-on-the-senses kind of way. Where else could you pass off a combination of scaffolding and outsize hamster runs as a serious showcase for the arts?

    I first encountered the Pompidou Centre when I was 14 and participated in a school exchange programme to Paris. As a fledgling teenager eager to discover the charms of the world's most romantic city without parental supervision, I was outraged that planning permission could have been granted for a structure so hideous. Nearly quarter of a century later and having done my best to keep my distance from the structure over the intervening period, I have to say that I don't feel a whole lot more positive towards the place. On balance, what I think I find most unpalatable is that in a city that does so well to present a harmonious whole - even between different architectural styles - this overindulgence of dated 60s metal and plastic is so very out of keeping with its surroundings and deserves to be relegated to the status of a set for an Austin Powers movie and then donated to a home for deserving outsize hamsters.

    Aesthetics apart, it does seem to be a vibrant facility that hosts art exhbitions, movies and the performing arts, so probably it performs that part of its function well. I was tempted to visit because it was hosting an exhibition of Edvard Munsch, but on balance, I decided that the stiff admission fee (€10) was too steep to justify for the work of someone whose work I primarily recognise as the inspiration for a million Halloween masks, and decided instead to spend it on something that I knew that I would appreciate. This is one of the problems of any major tourist destination, I suppose - the admission fees quickly add up, and for most travellers, €10 is quite a whack to blow on something that you don't know whether you'll really enjoy.

    The website below will indicate current and future exhibits, but seems a particularly obtuse piece of Gallic design which seems to frustrate rather than assist. It gives an English language option, but the design is counterintuitive - the important stuff on entrance prices and opening hours appears under 'Planning Your Visit' - and the option to buy tickets online simply didn't want to function in English. This I do find annoying: either you offer foreign language versions of your website or you don't - but don't pretend that you do and then offer a 'tool' that doesn't provide a translation of the detail required.

    It is also worth noting that the exhibitions don't open until 11:00 (and the adjacent Atelier Brancusi has even more limited opening hours, between 14:00 and 18:00 Wednesday-Monday) which may impact on your planning if - like me - you're someone who likes to make an early start to avoid crowds.

    The public space outside the Centre is a pleasant spot frequented by slightly bohemian types - I enjoyed an unexpectedly excellent impromptu didgeridoo recital!

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Pompidou's Center

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 23, 2012

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    Paris - Pompidou
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    Pompidou's Center. You are amazed with boldness of Frenchmen to build such, silly at a first sight, buildings-constructions. But once the same absurdity seem to all Tour d'Eiffel in the end of the nineteenth century!
    Pompidou's center was constructed in 1977 as the big cultural center for every possible exhibitions. The building is often called as "city machine". It seems not to be finished construction with woods and the pipelines framing a building. The national museum of the modern art occupies three top floors.

    You can watch my 2 min 48 sec Video Paris Centre Pompidou out of my Youtube channel.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Modern Art

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 30, 2011

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    1. National Museum of Modern Art
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    On the fourth and fifth floors of the Centre Georges Pompidou (Beaubourg) is the French National Museum of Modern Art, which is said to be the second largest such museum in the world (after the Museum of Modern Art in New York).

    In this photo, the painting on the left is Les Capétiens partout, painted in 1954 by Georges Mathieu.

    The one on the right is called Sexe-Prime. Hommage à Jean-Pierre Brisset and was painted in 1955 by Simon Hantaï.

    Second photo: This one has the fascinating title Trans-apparence du Verbe and was painted from 1977 to 1980 by the Chilean/French artist Matta, one of the surrealist artists who took refuge in the United States during the Second World War. He lived from 1911 to 2002.

    Third photo: Entrance hall on the ground floor of the Centre Georges Pompidou.

    Fourth photo: The facade, so to speak, of the Centre Georges Pompidou. This inside-out building was controversial at the time it was built, but has now been accepted, I would say, as a quintessential part of the Paris scene -- unlike Pompidou's other modernization projects such as the Montparnasse Tower, the expressway on the right bank of the Seine and the Forum Les Halles.

    Fifth photo: Cyclists at the Centre Pompidou.

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    Street performers on the piazza

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 30, 2011

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    1. Street performers on the piazza
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    There always seems to be a festive atmosphere on the "piazza" in front of the modern art museum Centre Pompidou or Beaubourg.

    Groups of street performers take turns putting on shows and funny sketches here.

    Second photo: The Centre Pompidou was one of the first huge new projects of the 1970s. It was intended as an "original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation," and was first opened in 1977. Twenty years later it was closed for extensive renovation work, and then re-opened in January 2000. They say that some six million people visit the Centre Pompidou each year, for a total of over 190 million visitors in its 30 years of existence.

    When I explain to people where I used to live in the Marais district, I sometimes say it was halfway between the Centre Pompidou and the Opéra Bastille, even though neither of these even existed at the time.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Views from Beaubourg

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 29, 2011

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    1. Looking west from Centre Pompidou
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    From the top floor of the Centre Georges Pompidou you can look out over Paris in various directions.

    Here we are looking west towards the Eiffel Tower.

    Second photo: Looking northwest towards Forum Les Halles, with the skyscrapers of La Défense off in the distance. The round building in the center of the photo is the stock exchange, and the big church is Saint-Eustache.

    Third photo: Looking north towards Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur.

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  • Turska's Profile Photo

    Modern art at Pompidou

    by Turska Written Sep 27, 2011
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    I did visit here also 20 years ago. I´m not sure if my memory is right, but I think the art has became even more modern in here! Some of the things seen here were little too strange for me, but some were very nice. i´ve studied arts at art and handgraft-school, and some of the things made me think about my teachers words: If you see very sipmle art, think is there a good idea behind it, or not.
    I will add some phtos soon, about things i did like.
    I was hoping to see some Andy Warhol-paintings, when my guidebook told there was those. But I did find only one. I guess the objects change all the time.

    We find it hard to understand where to get in!! Finally we went t bookshop and found our way from there.

    Notice that there are some art outside at the roof terrace. Nice statues I think. Next to Pompidou there are those funny fountains. for some reason, I missed them at my first visit.

    We did have museum pass, so we got in very quick. We spent 2,5 hours in there. Maybe some people might need more time, but we didn´t stop to every piece, if it wasn´t "touching" us.
    But if you are at least a little bit of interested in modern art, this is a must in Paris.

    Some exhibitions are temporary, so I suggest you to check the website. Normal ticket doesn´t include temporary exhibitions. You can also buy tickets on line, check the web page.

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    Centre Georges Pompidou

    by Penelope4 Updated May 7, 2011

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    Don't leave Paris without paying Centre George Pompidou a visit. Even if you no time at all but just to see it from outside. You'll enjoy watching the modern structure (well, some may hate it but I like it). As you go down towards the entrance, a lot of artists will surprise you with their talents (you may buy their CDs, give some coins, or just watcha bit and then walk directly to the edifice.

    Please check out the Website to find out what you exhibitions await you. Bear in mind that you can go to the coffee shop on the mezzanine floor on the right side even without tickets. In my last visit, there was even a free exhibition. To avoid queues, if you intend to see everything, book your tickets in advance.

    I have always enjoyed my visits. Modern artworks can give you an idea of another dimension. I find it impressive how much talent French young students have!

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