The First Contemporary Art Museum in History: Centre Pompidou
Considered by many authorities as the first contemporary art museum in the world, Centre Pompidou is a project envisioned by President Pompidou in 1969, with the aim of restoring the art capital status of Paris, a title it had lost to New York City after WWII. It was initiated as a multidisciplinary cultural center, also emcompassing other French modern art institutions awaiting rehabilitation, with the mission of prioritizing contemporary art produced particularly in France. The museum building was realized as a result of an architecture competition with 681 participants from 49 countries, the winner of which was an architect trio composed of two Italian and one British architects; it was at the center of ardent debates throughout the 70s because of its resemblance to an oil plant.
Today, Centre Pompidou‘s program is shaped around three main elements: exhibitions about art history, multidisciplinary thematic exhibitions and monographs of contemporary designers. Hosting the biggest collection of Modern and Contemporary Art in Europe with 60,000 items, it focuses on the artists of the 20th and 21st century that are most influential on our times.