Lessons of Pompidou by Misha Lyuve
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Sep 24, 2013

Last week, while in Paris I visited Pompidou Center and here is what it taught me.

In travel literature it was described as “monstrous” and “love it or hate it.” Among the refined and airy neighborhood Parisian buildings with fine moldings and intricate railings, Pompidou Center does feel like a sore in an eye – a large transparent box with metal columns where functional inner workings (water and air pipes, elevators, wiring) brought to the outside in bright red, yellow, blue and green.

Many times had I seen it before and this time around yet again I found it bizarre, puzzling, incomprehensible.

Inside the center I visited the modern art section of 1960+ at National Museum of Modern Art. It immersed me into the diverse multi-media world of art that left me emotionally touched and experientially full.

Kader Attia "Ghost"

Kader Attia "Ghost"

Pompidou paris view

The view from the very top of Pompidou Center

The building has also terraces on top floors. Each of them brought out a unique view of Paris. From the very top you can see myriad of roofs with Eiffel tower in the back. From the lower floor you could catch close up details of the buildings near by.

There was a moment when I realized that like in many other life situations I was looking for attributes of beauty on the outside, but Pompidou Center was showing it to me from the inside.

When I left the museum and looked back at the building, I saw it in a new light. Now I could appreciate how purposeful and deliberate it was. How in contrast it highlighted the elegance of the surrounding, while proudly keeping its one of a kind character. Proudly. And yes, there was monstrosity and there was beauty.

Pompidou center paris

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