By Javier Albisu
Brussels, Feb 13 (EFE).- On the banks of the Senne, in the heart of an old car factory in Brussels, Kanal Foundation and Paris’ Centre Pompidou are preparing for the 2024 opening of a new interdisciplinary museum of modern and contemporary art.
Kasia Redzisz, artistic director of the upcoming Kanal-Centre Pompidou, is in charge of filling the 40,000 square meters garage with contemporary creations.
“We are creating one of the biggest modern and contemporary art museums in Europe. It is 40,000 square meters of surface, much of that will be public spaces,” Redzisz tells Efe.
Redzisz was appointed in early February as artistic director of what is hoping to become a benchmark for contemporary art in Brussels, home to the headquarters of the European Union and Nato.
An old Citroen factory that was used by the Nazis back during WWII is set to host the project. It is a big concrete garage located next to an elegant glass and steel building that served as a showroom for vehicles.
“A true cathedral of modernity and industrialization. A car factory! And now we are transforming it into a museum in what I hope to be an age of clean energy. So that’s a symbolical transformation for us,” says the art historian.
The Kanal-Centre Pompidou opened its doors briefly in 2018 and shut down in 2021, with the purpose of thoroughly renovating the space. It is set to reopen in 2024.
“The architectural project is on its way, and at the moment Kanal we are brainstorming the program for the future museum,” Redzisz explains.
Despite working independently from its parent company, the Kanal Foundation has access to almost 120,000 pieces in the Paris collection and can count on its 50 years of museum experience and the branding provided by Centre Pompidou.
“On one hand, it is Brussels, a capital city, the capital of the European Union, which positions us very well to participate in the global debate. Yet, we are in the city center, and the location is very important so the audiences can be informed how we work with the building and the collection,” she sums up.
The Kanal-Centre Pompidou is much more than a distinguished museum branch. It is rather a flagship of the Canal Plan, an urban development project backed by European and international frameworks.
The plan, which began in 2012, aims to revive areas in the Belgian capital and integrate old industrial areas with residential ones, as well as cultural and leisure spaces. EFE