An architectural model depicting Pinault’s new museum. Photo: Luc Castel.

François Pinault Reveals Plans for New Contemporary Art Museum in Paris

Billionaire art collector François Pinault has revealed details of his plan to open a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. The edifice, according to its architect, Tadao Ando, will be a “completely circular museum” located right between the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre, at the very center of Paris, inside of a building that was once used for wheat storage and then served as the base for the commodities stock market. The museum is scheduled to open in 2019 and will cost about $122 million to complete. It will have close to 9,850 square feet of exhibition space, a black-box theater, and an auditorium below ground level that will be able to seat three hundred people.

“With the creation of this new museum, I am writing the next chapter of my cultural project, whose goal is to share my passion for contemporary art with as broad an audience as possible. This story began in Venice more than ten years ago, when I opened Palazzo Grassi, then the Punta della Dogana. These two spaces will maintain a close and constant contact with their Parisian sibling,” said Pinault at a press conference announcing the new museum. “As in Venice, the Paris museum will show works from the Pinault collection and present living artists.”

The museum will be funded entirely by Pinault’s family company, unlike the city’s Vuitton Foundation, which has been criticized for relying heavily on state support. “When I see how difficult conditions are for so many today, and in view of the many priorities the government has to deal with, I would have considered it scandalous to rely on public help,” Pinault said.