Centre Pompidou-MetzProject Beginnings

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The main stages


When Jean-Jacques Aillagon was appointed President of the Centre Georges-Pompidou in 1996, major work implied closure of the Centre for a long period of time. However, the desire to continue to exhibit national collections, even during this period, led to the creation of the “Off-Site” programme, presenting throughout France as well as overseas, some thirty exhibitions with the help of leading regional museums. A policy the success of which was to open up a new horizon for the Centre Pompidou, the creation of a new Centre Pompidou in a region of France.


When Jean-Jacques Aillagon was appointed Minister of Culture and Communication in 2002, he pursued the idea of implementing an unprecedented experience, namely the cultural decentralisation of a cultural institution in France. A number of cities were considered for decentralisation of the Centre Pompidou: Caen, Montpellier, Lyon, Nancy, Lille, Metz.

January 9th 2003

The announcement by the Centre Pompidou and the City of Metz, in agreement with the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, of the decentralisation for the first time ever of a cultural institution in France: the Centre Pompidou-Metz, sister institution of the Centre Pompidou, carried out in partnership with local government bodies.

March 2003

Launch of the international architecture competition.

December 15th 2003

The project proposed by Shigeru Ban (Tokyo), Jean de Gastines (Paris) and Philip Gumuchdjian (London) is the winner of the international architecture competition.

Autumn 2004 to summer 2009

The temporary studio of Shigeru Ban Architects Europe is set up in the Centre Pompidou, on the 6th floor terrace.



June 2006

Opening of the Maison du Projet, a temporary structure located next to the site and designed by the architects of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines. The Maison du Projet, intended to inform the public on the cultural and architectural project of the Centre Pompidou-Metz until October 2009, welcomed over 100,000 visitors.

November 7th 2006

The first stone is laid in the Centre Pompidou-Metz.

December 28th 2007

Signature of the preparatory partnership agreement between the Centre Pompidou and the Centre Pompidou-Metz, with the metropolitan area of Metz Métropole.

May 15th-October 4th 2009

Constellation”, a pre-inauguration event organised by the Centre Pompidou-Metz: more than 300,000 visits in the space of 5 months on 19 exhibition sites, in Metz and in Lorraine. + link for more details to the Constellation site pages.

November 10th 2009

Signature of the agreement protocol by Bernard Niquet, Prefect of the Lorraine and Moselle Region, Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou. Jean-Pierre Masseret, President of the Lorraine Region, Philippe Leroy, President of the Moselle General Council, Jean-Luc Bohl, President of Metz Métropole and Dominique Gros, Mayor of Metz. This agreement rules on the statutory, budgetary and management aspects of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, which has the status of an Etablissement Public de Coopération Culturelle (EPCC: Public Cultural Co-operation Establishment), (EPCC + link to the EPCC page).

May 11th 2010 

Official inauguration by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic

November 2010

Foundation of the association "Amis du Centre Pompidou-Metz", presided by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, former Minister of Culture.

September 2011

One million visitors welcomed at Centre Pompidou-Metz.

December 2013

The Centre Pompidou-Metz welcomed the two millionth visitor.