Centre Pompidou

Serge Lasvignes re-appointed as president of Centre Pompidou

French government endorses his strategy of establishing satellite branches overseas

Serge Lasvignes ©Thibaut Chapotot, Centre Pompidou

Serge Lasvignes will continue as president of the Centre Pompidou in Paris after the French culture ministry renewed his contract for another term (the contract period is unconfirmed). Lasvignes, a former high ranking civil servant, was first appointed in 2015.

In a statement, the French culture minister Franck Riester highlighted the Centre Pompidou’s ongoing campaign to expand abroad, a strategy developed by Lasvignes’ predecessor Alain Seban. Lasvignes was “on the point of signing” an agreement to launch a satellite branch in South Korea when the coronavirus lockdown was enforced globally.

The gallery’s international network of satellites encompasses museums in Malaga and Shanghai. The Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum in Shanghai re-opened on 20 March after closing its doors during the coronavirus lockdown. “In keeping with this strategy, the Kanal-Center Pompidou project should make it possible to create another location for the Centre abroad, in this case in Brussels [due to open 2022],” says the statement from the culture ministry.

Lasvignes is also pressing ahead with ambitious plans to create a fabrique de l’art (art factory) in Massy in the Ile-de-France area. The new venue “will be both a centre of excellence for the conservation and restoration of the works in the collection, and a new cultural and creative venue deeply rooted in its territory”, according to a museum statement. The 22,000 sq. m space is due to open in 2025. Under Lasvignes, the centre also launched an initiative called L’Ecole Pro, connecting business leaders with art world figures.

In another museum move, Louis Jacquart, a former traffic chief at Paris city council, replaces Erol Ok as general director of the Musée National Picasso Paris. Laurent Le Bon remains in post as president of the museum.

UPDATE: Details about the duration of Lasvignes's new contract were updated.

UPDATE (6 April): A Centre Pompidou spokesman says: "Lasvignes' mandate renewal will run for three years, with the need for a measure to be taken over the course of this mandate to allow him to complete it despite the age limit [the retirement age is 67 for presidents of public institutions in France]."