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George Pompidou Centre

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Named after the Former President of France who presided over the country in the late 1960s, the George Pompidou Centre is not as well known as the Musee du Lourve or the Musee d'Orsay but is well worth a visit if you are on holiday in the City of Paris. In fact if you decide to do a short tour of the Lourve rather than the grand two or three day tour of the world's greatest museum, you might also want to visit George Pompidou as it is only 1.5 km and a casual stroll away.

If you don't feel like walking the relatively short distance, you can always take the Paris Metro Line #1 from either Lourve Metro station and go to the next stop past Lourve Rivoli, in the direction of Chateau de Vincennes, at the Chatelet subway station and walk approximately 600 metres from Rue de Rivoli to Rue Saint-Martin. You could also get off at the next stop at Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and the George Pompidou Centre is approximately 450 metres from the subway station. If you are traveling from a different part of the city, it isn't difficult to locate the centre as long as you can understand how to read a public transport map. Additionally, if you prefer a taxi, the driver can transport you right to the museum, although because of the notorious Parisian traffic, the fare might be a tad costly. Although it is known to be the 3 rd most visited site in Paris after the Lourve and the Eiffel Tower, it is recommended that you visit the Musee d'Orsay instead of the Pompidou Centre if time is limited during your holiday.

When you first arrive near the George Pompidou Centre you will notice the unusual stairwell on the front side of the building, which from a short distance resembles some sort of a multi-level amusement park ride. For those who have difficulty in negotiating stairs, there are plenty of lifts to take you up to one of the many levels of the museum. Although not as prestigious in terms of important historical works of art as the d'Orsay, the George Pompidou Centre houses the Musee National d'Art Moderne, which is considered to be the largest modern art museum in all of Europe with over 60,000 works of art. The centre also houses a large public library, which contains both a large collection of books and material in digital form. All forms of modern art are on display here at the museum including paintings, sculpture, video and music and feature a number of important period art forms such as Cubism, Fauvism, Expressionism and Dada.

Amongst the many world famous modern artists whose artwork is on display at the centre are: the Irish born Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Wilhem de Kooning, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Yves Klein, Henri Mattise, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray and the American Jackson Pollock. From the post modern era of Contemporary Art, many other world famous artists are on display such as Arman, Cesar Baldaccii, Joseph Beuys Robert Lichenstein and the ever popular eccentric American artist Andy Warhol.

A few of the more important attractions in the Musee National d'Art Moderne are Henri Mattise's "The Painter and His Model", Pablo Picasso's "The Guitarist", and Warhol's "Ten Lizes".

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