In 1969, President Pompidou took a decision to dedicate the Plateau Beaubourg area of Paris to the construction of a multidisciplinary cultural centre of an entirely new type, injecting new impetus to a series of projects that had hitherto failed to come to fruition: the plan to build a major public reading library in Paris, with the biggest visitor capacity for any such initiative since the Liberation. And beyond that, the rehabilitation of the National Museum of Modern Art, back then housed in a wing of the Palais de Tokyo that was in a state of semi-abandonment for lack of resources and space.
Besides creating a new library and the transfer of the National Museum of Modern Art, the new Centre project incorporated the activities of the Centre for Contemporary Art in rue Berryer and the small team around François Mathey, which had pursued a dynamic policy of contemporary art exhibitions within the museum of decorative arts.
The 1970s saw the addition of a centre for musical creation based on the vision of composer Pierre Boulez, who had decided to leave France a few years previously to protest against the state of contemporary music in our country. The creation of the IRCAM project would at last enable him to return to France.
A major competition for ideas was launched, in which, for the first time in our country, architects from throughout the world were invited to participate. 681 competitors from 49 different countries presented projects.
A project involving three associated architects was selected by the international jury, chaired by the architect-engineer Jean Prouvé: two Italians, Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini, and an Englishman, Richard Rogers, all virtually unknown at the time. Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers oversaw practically the entire management of the project and then went on to lead distinguished careers in their own rights, each winning the prestigious Pritzker Prize, the highest distinction in the field of architecture.
Today considered one of the emblematic buildings of the 20th Century and taken to their hearts by Parisians, the Piano and Rogers building, often compared by critics to an oil refinery, was the subject of huge controversy throughout the 1970s.
The Centre Pompidou was inaugurated on 31 January 1977. Since its opening to the public on 2 February, 1977, it has proved a huge success, far exceeding expectations. It quickly became one of the world's most popular cultural venues and one of the most visited monuments in France.
The late 70s and 80s saw the Centre offer exhibitions that became legends in their time, such as the "Paris." series ("Paris-New York", "Paris-Berlin", "Paris-Moscow", "Paris Paris"),"Vienna, birth of a century", "The Immaterials","Memories of the Future", "Maps and Figures of Earth", "Magicians of the Earth". Under the leadership of its directors, Pontus Hulten and Dominique Bozo, the MNAM collection grew considerably and became a world leader in the field of modern and contemporary art.
Following a comprehensive reform of the Centre Pompidou's organisation with the creation in particular of the Department of Cultural Development (DDC), encompassing live performances, film and the spoken word, the merger of MNAM and CCI led to the creation of an architecture and design collection which in twenty years would become one of the most remarkable in the world.
After twenty years of activity and after having welcomed over 150 million visitors, the Centre Pompidou underwent extensive renovation work at the initiative of then President Jean-Jacques Aillagon. The state allocated resources to create the additional space required for the presentation of collections and development of the performing arts. 100,000 m2 of surface area were thus redeveloped between October 1997 and December 1999. The Centre Pompidou reviewed its organisational structure, enabling it to better fulfill its missions within the MNAM-CCI (inventory, conservation, restoration and development of the collection) but also for activities related to performing arts and mediation.
The Centre Pompidou thus reopened its doors to the public on 1 January 2000: and again met with great success, with an average of 16,000 visitors per day in 2000.
President Alain Seban, appointed to the Presidency of the Centre Pompidou on 2 April, 2007, encouraged the institution to adopt a strategic approach, unique among major cultural institutions.
This would reaffirm the mission and priorities of the Centre Pompidou as a platform for exchanges between society and contemporary creation, in pursuit of a vision outlined directly by President Georges Pompidou. A popular venue designed for the entire French populace, the Centre Pompidou closely follows the world of contemporary design and establishes links with a number of artists, particularly those on the French scene.
In response to these challenges, the cultural programme of the Centre Pompidou has been designed around three dimensions (exposition of the history of art, multidisciplinary thematic exhibitions and monographs of contemporary designers) and a new multidisciplinary vision.
Thus defined, the Centre Pompidou has a national mission implying that the institution not only has a presence in Paris and Ile-de-France, but seeks to develop its activity countrywide with a firm commitment to cultural decentralisation.
Furthermore, because the Centre Pompidou is tasked with maintaining and developing a national collection of modern and contemporary art, it is committed to honouring this heritage role as part of its essential mission, thus playing an active part in the study and popularisation of the history of art – one of the main tasks of MNAM.
As part of its strategic planning, the Centre has identified a number of priorities in structuring its activities over the period 2007-2012:
Showcasing our heritage: The heritage of the Centre Pompidou consists of both collections entrusted to our care by the State, which the institution aims to raise bring to a wider public through its policy of regular renewal of the presentation spaces on Levels 4 and 5, but also through an active policy of loans and deposits as well as travelling exhibitions outside the Centre's premises, especially abroad, and of course through projects such as the Centre Pompidou-Metz and the mobile Centre Pompidou, but also in the Piano and Rogers building itself, whose much-needed renovation is the subject of a multi-year investment, the first component of which involves the replacement over three years (2012-2014) of the air handling units that provide the air conditioning;
Clarifying our services: In line with its strategic priorities, the Centre Pompidou has adopted a programming strategy in respect of temporary exhibitions organised around three themes (exhibitions of art history, multidisciplinary thematic exhibitions and monographs by contemporary artists) whose success resulted in a dramatic spurt in attendance (+30% between 2007 and 2011); the DDC was tasked with developing a new more proactive multidisciplinary programme, returning to its original role at the heart of the institution's missions as a centre of creativity as envisioned by President Pompidou and with forging a closer relationship with creators;
Renewing our proposals: The Centre Pompidou has reasserted itself as a forum for cultural innovation with a number of major strategic projects (see below) such as the New Festival, Studio 13/16, the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the mobile Centre Pompidou, the virtual Centre Pompidou or the "Paris-Delhi-Bombay." exhibition, in addition to experimenting with new formats, intermediaries between exhibitions, show and performance, after the example of the "Rendez-vous Forum" opened in 2010;
A global player: In response to the globalisation of artistic creation, the Centre Pompidou's collection has become global. This is, for MNAM, the major challenge of the twenty-first century. Rising to this challenge assumes that the institution knows how to build a global network of information and support to maintain the truly universal character of its collection.
More than 60,000 works constitute the largest collection in Europe of modern and contemporary art. It covers the XX and XXI centuries through artists which artworks had major influence in recent years.
The entire collection is available in our resource center including access via the search engine.
Professionals can also access the collection via A to Z with Navigart.
The Georges Pompidou National Centre for Art and Culture (CNAC-GP), is state-owned administrative body (EPA) under the tutelage of Ministries of Culture and Budget.
An EPA is a legal entity under public law to which the State has delegated all or part of the design and implementation of a public policy. Constituting a subdivision of the State, it acts, like the latter, in the name and on behalf of the French Republic.
In its status as a legal personality with legal and financial autonomy, it also receives funding from own resources (entrance fees, partnerships, sponsorship, etc.) and recruits its staff.
Under the supervision but not the authority of the ministers concerned, a public body receives instructions from the Government only within the framework set out by its constitutive texts and the detailed procedures recorded therein.
The Board of Directors includes representatives from the ministries concerned (culture, budget), parliamentarians, the Mayor of Paris, staff representatives and other qualified individuals.
The President of the CNAC-GP is appointed for a term of 5 years by decree of the President of the Republic as deliberated in the Council of Ministers. His mandate is renewable every 3 years.
For the duration of his mandate, the President is mandated on the highest State authority to conduct the policy of the institution in accordance with his statutory duties and within the guidelines set by the State, particularly via the voice of its representatives on the Board, and under the supervision of the latter.
The President chairs the Board of Directors and has full authority over all the institution's departments, divisions and units in all areas of their business.
He is by rights President of the board of the Public Information Library (BPI) – which is a separate administrative public body – and President of IRCAM, which has association status under the Law of 1901. The whole complex, devoid of legal personality and consisting of the of CNAC-GP, the BPI and IRCAM is called the "Centre Pompidou".
The President is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Centre Pompidou-Metz.
The General Manager is appointed by decree of the Minister of Culture, on the nomination of the President. He is responsible, under the authority of the president, for the administration and management of the public body.
The Board of Directors consists of 18 members, including the President of the Centre Pompidou, who presides:
- 6 representatives of the State, including 5 representatives of the Ministry of Culture and one representative of the Ministry of the Budget;
- 4 parliamentarians (2 members of parliament and 2 senators) representing the Cultural Affairs and Finance committees of the two assemblies;
- the Mayor of Paris or his representative;
- 3 qualified persons designated by the Minister of Culture;
- 3 elected staff representatives.
The institution's General Manager, departmental heads and directors of partner organisations, the representative of the general economic and financial control and accounting officer, and any person whose presence the President deems useful, attend meetings of the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity.
The Board meets at least three times per year and determines, through its deliberations, the institution's affairs. As such, it is responsible for adopting the budget and its amendments as well as the financial accounts for the year ended, the main directions of cultural policy and programming events of the establishment, pricing policy and the annual activity report.
The Programming Board includes the President, the General Manager, directors of departments and agencies involved in the Centre: MNAM-CCI, DDC, BPI and IRCAM, the director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the directors of communication and partnerships, legal and financial, production, human resources, audiences, publishers, information systems and telecommunications, the delegate for audiovisual cultural activities and the deputy director of MNAM CCI in charge of cultural programming.
It is consulted by the President for his decisions on programming events, exhibitions, performances, film cycles or activities involving the spoken word. It meets about twice a month and hears the views of the Centre's curators and programmers or external auditors with a project to propose. A discussion takes place following the presentations, before the President validates, defers or rejects the principle of adding the project to the Centre's calendar of events.
The Programming Board, which seeks to act transparently at all times, is the body which ensures the multidisciplinary nature of events. In this way, significantly upstream of projects, the managers of different departments and directorates can make associated proposals and design effective multi-disciplinary events.
The TC, which succeeded the Joint Technical Committee on 1 November 2011, includes two representatives of the administration (the President of the institution and the General Manager) and 10 representatives elected by the staff. It is chaired by the President of the Centre who may also be assisted as necessary by the representative or representatives of the administration of his choice in exercising functions and responsibilities alongside him which are concerned with the issues put before the committee.
It meets at least two times a year when convened by its President on his own initiative or within a maximum period of two months, upon the written request of at least half of staff representatives.
It is consulted and tasked with expressing its views on the following:
- issues and draft texts relating to the functioning and organisation of the Centre;
- outlining broad guidelines for the Centre's tasks;
- programmes to modernise work methods and techniques and their impact on the staffing situation;
- social reports and various provisions of collective management of staff;
- statutory rules governing personnel.
Decree No. 82-452 of 28 May 1982 amended
Decree No. 2011-184 of 15 February 2011
Common to the CNAC-GP and the BPI, the HSC is chaired by the General Manager. It includes, in addition to the human resources manager and the director of BPI, staff representatives appointed by trade unions and the occupational physician. Also associated with the work of the HSC are the Health and Safety Inspector (formerly Inspector for Hygiene and Safety) and prevention assistants or advisers (formerly officers tasked with implementing hygiene and safety, Acmo).
It contributes to the protection of health and safety at work of all employees of the Centre Pompidou. It is common to CNAC-GP and BPI.
It addresses issues such as:
-the observance of statutory and regulatory requirements for health and safety;
- work methods and techniques and choice of work equipment where these are likely to have a direct influence on the health of workers;
- projects involving the planning, construction and maintenance of buildings in terms of health, safety and welfare at work;
- measures taken to facilitate the adaptation of workplaces for the disabled;
- measures involving the development of workstations to promote women's access to all jobs and necessary for pregnant women.
The HSC also conducts analysis of occupational risks faced by agents and each year debates a report on the changing situation of occupational hazards. It suggests measures to improve health and safety at work and cooperates in the preparation of training in health and safety.
Decree No. 82-452 of 28 May 1982 amended
Decree No. 2011-774 of 28 June 2011
The Joint Administrative Committee (CAP) is an advisory body made up of representatives of the institution designated by the President and elected staff representatives. This committee expresses its opinion prior to major decisions relating to the career of individual agents. Through their representatives, the agents of the Centre Pompidou also participate in the preparation of decisions regarding their career.
The CAP examines questions such as:
- internal staff mobility;
- allocation of statutory benefits (except for seniority benefits within the hierarchy);
It may also be called upon to sit as a disciplinary board.
The members of the Commission sit in three committees:
- the first college addresses issues relating to personnel classified in group I (1A et 1B);
- the second college addresses issues relating to personnel classified in group II;
- the third college addresses issues relating to personnel classified in groups III, IV and HE.
For more information, see the following documents on the Intranet: Resources / official texts / Human Resource Management
Decree 82-451 of 28 May 1982 on the joint administrative commissions, amended
Decree 82-447 of 28 May 1982 on the exercise of trade union rights in public service
A department of the National Museum of Modern Art, the roles of the Industrial Design Centre are as follows:
1. inventory, conserve, restore, enhance, present to the public and showcase the art collections in the custody of the Georges Pompidou National Centre for Art and Culture, in the fields of visual arts, graphic arts, photography, experimental film, new media, industrial design, design and architecture from the early 20th Century, these collections also include the documentary base and archives concerning them;
2. present to the public, in all places, any event designed to disseminate and deepen knowledge of Art since the early 20th Century;
3° to promote contemporary creation in all its forms.
The functions of the department of the National Museum of Modern Art-Industrial Creation Centre include:
- the conservation of visual art collections, organised in eight departments: modern collections, contemporary collections, contemporary and prospective, graphic arts, photography, experimental film, new media and the restoration of works;
- the industrial design department, which includes architecture, industrial and prospective design;
- the Kandinsky Library department – the research and documentation centre of the National Museum of Modern Art – the Industrial Design centre, which includes a reading room also open to researchers in the history of 20th Century art;
- the collections department, under the joint authority of the production division.
Note that the staff of the restoration of works and collections department in part carries out its tasks within the reserves, located outside the main Centre Pompidou.building.
The museum department provides the secretariat for the acquisitions committee and the secretariat of the committee on loans and deposits, and the curators concerned with hanging works from the collection and temporary exhibitions.
The Department of Cultural Development is responsible for:
- participating, in all ways, in the enrichment and dissemination of contemporary art in all its forms as a reflection on issues affecting society and contemporary culture;
- presenting to the public, in all places, any event within its mission, particularly in the fields of the performing arts, cinema and audiovisual promotion of emerging art forms, reflection on the major changes in art and culture.
The DDC consists of:
- the spoken word department
- the film department
- the live performance department.
The public division trains the audiences of tomorrow through educational activities and special programming for children, adolescents and young adults in order to:
- retain visitors and search for new audiences, through development actions, appropriate pricing policy, and promote access for the disabled and disadvantaged;
- provide the general public with written, oral and multimedia resources offering a better understanding of the Centre's programming and its collection;
- welcome, guide and inform the Centre's visitors and monitor the works in the Museum's exhibition galleries and spaces
- contribute to a better public understanding of the Centre through regular surveys.
The management consists of four departments:
- the educational and youth programming department;
- the public development department;
- the public services department
-The public reception department.
The building and security division is responsible for the safety of persons and property, especially art works around the clock. The division ensures the smooth operation of the building and adjoining premises and technical installations. As such it is responsible for work, maintenance, upkeep, furniture and signage.
The building and security division consists of three departments:
- the building department;
- the security department;
- the general resources department.
The communications and partnerships division proposes and implements the institution's communications strategy and image policy.
As such, it guarantees the identity of the institution, organises the promotion of events and activities at the Centre Pompidou, produces or commissions resources for media communications. Through research for sponsors and media and international partners, it contributes financially to the realisation of strategic projects, exhibitions and events at the Centre.
It also manages the reception of personalities and the use of private spaces.
It is in charge of internal communication.
The communication and partnerships division consists of a department, 5 units and a delegation:
- public relations and private operations department;
- sponsorships and partnerships unit;
- press unit;
- image unit;
- internal communications unit;
- management unit.
The publications division is responsible for publishing books in the fields of intervention of the Centre Pompidou and the realisation of products. It defines the dissemination policy of these productions and provides editorial responsibility for the institution's website.
The publications division consists of four departments and two units:
- publishing department;
- iconography and rights management department;
- commercial department;
- multimedia department (SMU);
- administrative and financial management unit;
- manufacturing unit.
The legal and financial division outlines the budget and control its execution. It is responsible for all financial matters under the authorised financial officials. It leads on public procurement policy and as such plays an analytical and advisory role to departments during procurement. It manages the network of budgetary correspondents and market correspondents in the departments. It also provides the secretariat for tenders, the treatment of legal issues and an advisory and analytical role, particularly in respect of litigation. It is responsible for archiving policy within the institution.
The legal and financial division consists of:
- the public procurement department;
- the finance and management control department;
- the legal and archive department.
The productions division is responsible for the production of the Centre's artistic and cultural activities, designed and programmed by the departments, the public division and partner organisations. It is responsible for the design and technical realisation of these demonstrations, exhibition spaces and common areas. It oversees the reception and organisation of logistical and technical events that take place in theatres and cinemas, as well as on the Piazza. It establishes and manages the budgets and contracts. It manages the institution’s mission expenses.
The productions division consists of eight departments:
- the architecture and museum productions department;
- the works management department;
- the audiovisual department;
- the workshops and technical resources department;
- the events department;
- the administrative and financial department;
- the premises management department;
- the collections department (under the joint supervision of MNAM BCC).
The HR division is responsible for outlining and implementing human resources policy at the Centre Pompidou. To this end it manages processes related to recruitment, career development and continuing professional development. It supports personnel administration including payroll transactions. It is responsible for preventive medicine, the application of health and safety and social welfare policy for staff. Finally, it coordinates social relations and provides the secretariat for staff representative bodies.
The Human Resources Division consists of:
• the personnel department;
• the careers and training department;
• the preventive medicine department;
• the social relations unit.
The information and telecommunications systems division is responsible for the development and cohesion of the Centre's information systems. As such, it assists users in defining their functional needs, proposes and implements IT solutions, installs and maintains computer equipment and networks.
The information and telecommunications systems division consists of:
- the research and development department;
- the network exploitation department.
The accounting department is responsible for all operations of receipt of resources, payment of expenses, maintenance of accounts of the institution, including the production of the financial account, including its Annexes, Banking thereto, of managing its liquidity and the balance sheet presentation. It provides an advisory role to the Authorising Officer in the areas of its competence.
The accounting firm consists of a central service fund and the following sections:
"On the Piazza and outside the usable volume, all public movement facilities have been centrifuged. On the opposite side, all the technical equipment and pipelines have been centrifuged. Each floor is thus completely free and it can be used for all forms of cultural activities – both known and yet to be discovered.
Renzo Piano, architect, Centre Pompidou
Designed as an "evolving spatial diagram" by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the architecture of the Centre Pompidou boasts a series of technical characteristics that make it unique. Its originality comes first from the flexible use of large interior plateaux of 7,500 m2, each completely free, with an easily modifiable layout. Using steel (15,000 tons) and glass (11,000 m² of glass surface), the builders created a major pioneering building back in the 70s, in a country more used at the time to visions in concrete. The building of the Centre Pompidou, in its use of glass and steel, is also heir to the great iron constructions of the Industrial Age, from Paxton's Crystal Palace, but also futuristic in many ways. A prototype in all respects, it lines up with the architectural utopias of Archigram and Superstudio in the 60s.
The metal frame consists of 14 portal frames supporting 13 transverse members, each spanning 48m and set 12.80m apart. Eight-meter-long, 10-tonne moulded steel members known as "stirrup straps" are fixed to the posts at each level.
The 45-meter-long beams rest on these stirrup straps, which transfer the loads to the posts and are balanced by tie beams anchored in stay plates. Each storey is 7m high floor to floor. The glass and steel superstructure encloses the large multipurpose spaces, which are designed to be fully modular and adjustable to changing usages.
Colours have been used to decorate the structure, using a "code" defined by the architects:
- blue for circulating air (air conditioning);
- yellow for circulating electricity;
- green for circulating water;
- red for circulating people (escalators and lifts).
The title of the quarterly program magazine is a reference to this "color code" as a symbol of the Centre Pompidou's multidisciplinary nature.
To find out more, see the educational dossier. (in french)
The Bpi contains a constantly updated selection of documents and content.
This multimedia library uses all currently-available media.
It is closely linked to the Centre Pompidou and runs a cultural programme revolving around its specific focus areas: news, society and the world, literary creation, digital culture and documentary cinema, including the Cinéma du Réel international documentary film festival, which it founded in 1978.
With a strong focus on innovation, it tests new tools and applications related to reading and knowledge.
As France's national library, it is tasked with developing cooperation programmes with French public libraries, and active international relations.
Visit the Bpi website.
The Kandinsky Library (Bibliothèque Kandinsky) is the documentation and research centre of the MNAM-CCI. It is one of the leading libraries specialised in the arts, and all fields of the visual arts are represented. It contains a rich collection of books by artists, private archives and 20th century manuscripts originating from collectors and also major artists. The Kandinsky Library is open to researchers with appropriate credentials.
To find out more about the conditions for using the library, visit the documentation portal.
Today the Ircam is one of the world's largest public research centres in musical creation. The institute is a one-of-a-kind venue, where efforts to predict the future shape of art merges with scientific and technological innovation.
Founded by Pierre Boulez, the Ircam is linked with the Centre Pompidou, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication. Since 1995, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ircam and the CNRS have been working together as part of a combined research unit on the science and technology of music and sound. In 2010, they were joined by the Université Pierre et Marie Curie.
The Ircam develops its three main focus areas - creation, research and transfer - during a season in Paris, an annual festival, and tours in France and abroad. The Ircam is currently leading a project to launch a multidisciplinary academy of creation - the first of its kind in France. It will be linked to the festival, where its work will be unveiled. There are plans for a preliminary appearance in June 2012.
Visit the Ircam website.
The Centre Pompidou-Metz is the Centre Pompidou's sister institution. In a building designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, it presents a multidisciplinary programme aimed at every sector of the public and inspired by the spirit, the know-how and the values of the Centre Pompidou.
It holds temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, drawn from the Centre Pompidou's collection. Every field of creation is present, from the visual arts to architecture, including design, dance, theatre and music. The museum caters for a broad public and runs special youth programmes.
In November 2011, 18 months after opening, the Centre Pompidou-Metz had already received 1.1 million visitors, making it the most popular museum outside the Île-de-France region.
Visit the Centre Pompidou-Metz website.
The Centre Pompidou-Metz is officially a public establishment for cultural cooperation ("EPCC" in French). Its members include Metz Métropole, the Lorraine Region, the City of Metz, the Centre Pompidou and the State. This status guarantees the new institution of complete independence in its scientific and cultural choices. It ensures that the local government bodies that finance it will remain committed and in control. And its status as affiliated organisation with the Centre Pompidou guarantees close ties.
The local government bodies contribute to the Centre's running expenses. The Conseil général de la Moselle is committed to reviewing a partnership agreement with the Centre Pompidou-Metz every year. The Centre Pompidou and the State together hold one-third of the seats on board of directors of the Centre Pompidou-Metz. The other seats are distributed among Metz Métropole, the Lorraine Region and the City of Metz. The President of the Conseil général de la Moselle and the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Wendel Group, the founding sponsor, take part in the board of directors as qualified personalities.
Under the rules governing EPCCs, the director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz has considerable latitude in cultural and scientific matters. Under the General Code of Regional Authorities, he is appointed by the president of the EPCC at the suggestion of a two-thirds majority of the board of directors.