SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s Hanwha Group said Monday it has signed a preliminary agreement with the Centre Pompidou, a world-renowned modern art museum in France, to establish an offshoot branch in Seoul.
The partnership will give Hanwha the licensing rights to use the French museum’s properties for four years upon the opening of the branch, tentatively named the “Pompidou Center Hanwha Seoul,” Hanwha said in a release. The contract is subject to an extension.
The Seoul Pompidou Center will be built in 63 Square, a Hanwha-owned skyscraper in western Seoul, with the opening set for the first half of 2025.
Shin Hyun-woo, chief director of the Hanwha Foundation of Culture, and Laurent Le Bon, president of the Centre Pompidou, signed the memorandum of understanding on the partnership agreement in Paris on Sunday (local time).
Under the agreement, Hanwha will hold two special exhibitions every year, featuring masterpieces from the Pompidou collections, for which Hanwha will pay brand royalties, rental and other fees as agreed under the terms.
Hanwha said it will hold its own exhibitions twice a year that will be in sync with the modern and innovative colors of the Centre Pompidou. It also plans to run a children’s art museum that will offer kids various art experiences.
Hanwha has long sought to bring the Pompidou branch to South Korea since 2018 as part of efforts to further engage in art and culture but experienced setbacks amid the global outbreak of COVID-19.
French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, known for his roles in the interior design of the Louvre Museum, the British Museum and the design of Incheon International Airport — the main gateway to South Korea — will participate in the design work for the Seoul Pompidou Center, Hanwha said.
The Centre Pompidou has over 120,000 artworks from the early 1900s to the present, including the collections of Chagall, Matisse, Kandinsky and Picasso.
It has a number of satellite museums around the world, including the one in Spain’s Malaga, which opened in 2015, and another in Shanghai that was set up in 2019.