Yesterday was the inauguration of the Centre Pompidou. I was not invited for the inauguration with Sarkozy (that was at noon). JP was invited but didn’t go since he was looking for his hotel somewhere in Pennsylvania. I was invited to the inauguration in the evening along with a lot of other people. When I arrived I wondered if I was going to stay, but finally I did in spite of the crowds and looked at the whole museum. It’s not the collection that is interesting but the way they have used the space in the museum. On the upper floors there are huge windows that look out on Metz and the rooms are large and airy. So I liked the museum. In the present collection there are several Matisse and Picasso. They are right at home in this type of museum which highlights the relation between form and space. It is better adapted to modern and contemporary artists like Miro, Giacometti, Brancusi and pop artists than to more traditional painters. In one place they had masks from different cultures, but you had to be able to read the fine print to see where the masks came from. That is always a problem in museums. If the light is too soft or the print too small there is no point in having complex messages to convey. There are elevators to go from one floor to another, but not very practical when there are a lot of people. I used the stairs. I’m sure they’re going to discover a lot of glitches from a pratical point of view once visitors start pouring in. I used the WC but that was sort of an Alice in Wonderland experience because the toilet seemed very small (for children?) or else I had suddenly grown very big. So we’ll see what the reactions are and whether the museum draws tourists to the city. The New York Times called Metz « a sleepy provincial town » and Sarkozy mispronounced the name of the city (He said Metz instead of « Mess » which is the local pronunciation. I heard that from someone in the President’s office who had been to the noon inauguration.
Kathie, maman, whatever…Madame la Directrice