The Centre Pompidou in Paris may be pumping the brakes on its plan to open a satellite space in Seoul amid the escalating coronavirus crisis. According to a report by the Art Newspaper, the institution’s president, Serge Lasvignes, said that he was “on the point of signing” paperwork to finalize the project when countries around the world instituted aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Having been in the works since 2016, the plan to open a space in Seoul follows its recently inaugurated collaboration with Shanghai’s West Bund Museum, where works from the Pompidou’s collection will be shown over the course of five years. (The West Bund Museum reopened to the public on March 20 after a temporary closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.)
Lasvignes did not offer further comment on the Pompidou’s plans in Seoul to the Art Newspaper. In addition to its Shanghai museum, the Pompidou also operates satellites in Brussels and Metz, France, and is in the process of opening an “art factory” in Massy, currently slated to be inaugurated in 2025.
The Art Newspaper also reports that the Centre Pompidou will create a video game through which visitors can explore the museum’s collection during its temporary closure. The museum is using the hashtag #culturecheznous, an initiative by the French Ministry of Culture that translates to #cultureathome, to highlight some of its projects online.
“We remain very active on our social media networks during this period,” Lasvignes said.
The coronavirus has sent shockwaves through cultural institutions around the world, and major institutions in France, including the Louvre, the Musée Delacroix, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée de l’Orangerie, and the Palais de Tokyo, shuttered earlier in March.