A French museum and a town in New Jersey seek a cultural alliance

The Statue of Liberty could have company from his native France.

The state, local authorities and museum officials announced on Friday a planned partnership between the Center Pompidou in Paris and Jersey City in New Jersey to transform a devastated industrial building into a satellite museum at the heart of a transportation hub for thousands of commuters not far from where Lady Liberty stands in New York Harbor.

The Center Pompidou x Jersey City, scheduled to open in 2024, would be the first French museum company in North America, said Serge Lasvignes, president of the Center Pompidou. It currently has sites in Metz, France; Shanghai, China; Malaga, Spain; and Brussels, Belgium.

The satellite would be completed in time for when the Paris Museum, which houses more than 120,000 works of modern art in its unique architecture of exposed colorful pipes and air ducts, will undergo a major renovation.

While the French would provide the art and expertise, Jersey City would provide the money.

The city would pay up to $ 6 million gradually over the cost of the five-year contract for Pompidou’s exhibitions, projects and educational programming, Mayor Steven Fulop said. In addition, the city is expected to cover the estimated $ 30 million it would cost to renovate the Pathside Building.

The mayor said he was careful not to hand the bill back to taxpayers. Fulop said the money would be raised through donations and the creation of a special improvement district for businesses in the Journal Square area to share the costs of a project that would benefit them.

“We can afford it,” Fulop said.

The plan to create the partnership then falls to the city council, which Fulop says has been kept informed.

Jersey City acquired the 58,000 square foot (5,400 square meters) Pathside Building in 2018. It was built in 1912 as an office building for a public service and was last used by a community college. The building is located in Journal Square, where an average of 22,500 commuters travel by train between New Jersey and New York daily, officials said.


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