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The Center Pompidou expands to Seoul

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The Center Pompidou, Paris, today announced the opening of a branch in Seoul. The French contemporary art institution will partner with South Korean finance and retail conglomerate Hanwha for the museum, which will occupy Tower 63, the reflective glass skyscraper housing Hanwha’s headquarters. Center Pompidou Hanwha Seoul, as the institution is tentatively named, will be designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and is expected to open in early 2025. According to an agreement signed March 19 by Pompidou President Laurent Le Bon and Hanwha Culture Foundation Chairman Shin Hyunwoo, the collaboration between the two entities will last four years, during which time the Seoul outpost will hold a total of eight monographic exhibitions, two per year, featuring works by the Center Pompidou collection. THE Korea Timetables reports that Hanwha is paying $21 million for the right to use the Pompidou brand. The French museum had previously considered Busan and Incheon as possible satellite locations.

The news comes just days after the Pompidou revelation plans for an outpost in the nascent AlUla region of Saudi Arabia. The French museum is partnering with the Royal Commission for AlUla in this venture, which will result in a large-scale museum centered on art from South West Asia, North Africa and South Asia, with a focus on Land art and digital art of this century. The Saudi outpost is expected to be completed in 2028-2029 and is part of the Vision 2030 initiative launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the aim of establishing a more progressive cultural profile for the country and away from its economy of oil dependence. .

With Seoul and AlUla branches in the works, Pompidou, which has outposts in Metz, France; Malaga, Spain; and Shanghai – will include half a dozen museums, including its flagship institution in Paris.


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