The Brussels Region, Kanal Foundation and Pompidou Centre signed a partnership agreement Monday, laying the foundations for the creation of the future Contemporary Art Museum on the former site of the Citroen garages, on Yser Square, at the heart of the capital. Before the end of 2022, or early 2023, a cultural and multi-disciplinary centre, also dedicated to architecture, will open in the former garage.
The agreement was signed for ten years. It establishes the modalities of cooperation between the different partners. The Pompidou Centre committed itself to the lending of works from its collection of some 120,000 pieces, representing all the disciplines of creation. It will participate in the definition of the cultural and scientific project of the centre; will provide counsel and assistance in the definition of the strategy for the acquisition of the future museum’s permanent collections. The latter will progressively set forth its own identity in view of functioning autonomously.
Pending the beginning of construction, planned in the fall of 2019, a cultural program will be offered during a little over a year as of 5 May 2018, on the site in its unfinished state. Designed by the Director of the National Modern Art Museum and of the Department of Cultural Development of the Pompidou Centre, Bernard Blistène, in cooperation with the Brussels cultural scene, it will be multidisciplinary and organized throughout the whole of the complex.
A first task of commissioning practicing artists in Brussels will be done by an independent jury, so that their works be exhibited during the foreshadowing exhibitions. These will constitute the first works of a future museum collection in embryo.
In the end, the Contemporary Art Museum will offer an area of 8,000 square meters devoted to the permanent exhibition which the Pompidou Centre promised to feed for five years with works from its collection. An area of 4,000 square meters will be dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The ground floor will be reserved for a vast public area devoted to restaurants, work and meeting space, to bring the cultural institution closer to the inhabitants, Brussels Minister-President Rudi Verboort explained at noon Monday, with his ministers in charge of the Brussels cultural promotion, Rachid Madrane (Walloon-Brussels Federation), Sven Gatz (Flemish Community), and the President of the Pompidou Centre, Serge Lasvignes.