Prestigious gallery may open branch in Prague

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There is a chance that the Czech capital could exhibit arts from one of the biggest and most renowned collections of modern art, including the works of Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Joan Miró.

The Czech National Gallery management is discussing closer cooperation with Center Pompidou – one of the world’s largest collections of modern paintings and sculpture. For Czech negotiators, the ideal outcome would be if a branch of the famous Parisian gallery was to be established in the capital. There are not many of them in the world so far; one Center Pompidou is already located in Malaga, Spain.

“The French ambassador informed us that Mr. Lasvignes accepts the invitation. We are waiting for confirmation of the date,” said Babiš, who had been lobbying for “Pompidou for Prague” during his November visit to Paris. Obtaining a license to open the branch of the famous center is one of the prime minister´s priorities. The director of the National Gallery, Jiří Fajt, has praised this dedication.

An obstacle, however, might be the fame of one of the world’s most significant collections. Across the world, there is a tremendous interest in establishing one of Center Pompidou´s branches, and behind the scenes, it is said that the number of licenses is getting thinner. The question is whether Prague can compete with its rivals, but the prime minister is calm, and the negotiations continue.

Establishing such a branch does not come cheap. According to available information, Spain pays millions of euros a year for the center in Malaga. The amount includes rental of borrowed works of art, but also the right to use the name and logo of Center Pompidou.

The representatives of the Czech National Gallery have already been working with the French while preparing the recent exhibition of works by one of the most famous Czech painters, František Kupka. Many of his paintings were lent to Prague by Center Pompidou from its large collections. The exhibition portraying František Kupka’s great artistic career had become one of the most successful exhibitions in the Czech Republic in recent years when nearly 100,000 people came to see it.

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