This week has seen the opening of what is now the largest contemporary arts centre in Europe – the newly renovated Palais de Tokyo in Paris
The renovation cost €20 million, took over 10 months, and nearly tripled its original size to an incredible 22,000 square metres. To help you get a sense of perspective, that is more space that three football pitches!
The renewal efforts saw the re-opening of the basement, dormant for more than two decades. These16,000 square meters of space had been left empty after the departure of the Cinema school Femis in 1995.
Interestingly, the whole renovation project has been intentionally rough around the edges, with only partially painted walls, exposed cables and dusty surfaces. The centre’s President Jean de Loisy explained that ‘Nothing is perfectly clean, nothing is perfectly painted on purpose. It is so important in art not to control everything. It’s all in favour of creativity.’ He hopes that it will inspire artists to let their imaginations roam free, creating work everywhichwhere, ‘across the windows of the rooms via the stairs and ceilings.’
For its opening, the centre brought in nearly 50 artists for a 30-hour marathon of art creation to fill the Art Deco building.
The Palais de Tokyo will cost €13 million a year to run. The Centre itself has to produce €6.5 million itself, which it hopes to do via sponsorships ticket prices. They estimate 500,000 visitors a year.
Follow ArtLyst on Twitter for breaking art news and latest exhibition reviews