Home > Article > France: ‘Astounding’ Louvre branch to open in Lens – Telegraph

France: ‘Astounding’ Louvre branch to open in Lens – Telegraph

Français : Maison du projet du Louvre-Lens, Le...

Until right now, you went to Lens in northern France for second-division football and slag heaps and other fine mining memories. You might also have used it as a base from which to see Great War battlefields. What you didn’t get much of was world-class culture. As you wouldn’t in Wigan, so you didn’t in Lens. The depressed former coal town apparently had problems beyond the reach of Raphael.

Which is precisely why, in a splendid burst of reverse thinking, the place is about to open an art gallery of astounding breadth and brio, containing works from across the history of human creativity. In the year’s major French cultural initiative, the Louvre has broken out of Paris to establish its first provincial base on a disused colliery site hemmed in by miners’ housing estates.

President François Hollande inaugurates the Louvre-Lens next Tuesday. It opens properly to the public on December 12. It is no mean branch office. The €150  million (£121m) building is of deceptive simplicity, a succession of four connected rectangles, and a square, all in aluminium and lots of glass. It has been kept long and low – a single storey – to avoid crushing locals with worthiness. The Japanese architects want the neighbours to come in, not stay stuck outside, awestruck. It could be a big leisure centre – which, in a sense, it is.

via France: ‘Astounding’ Louvre branch to open in Lens – Telegraph.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: