Art News

At New Pompidou Center-Metz Designed by Shigeru Ban, the Building Steals the Show

METZ, FRANCE (AP).- It’s France’s newest architectural wonder, and it looks something like an enormous white floppy sun hat. Or a giant swimming manta ray, or maybe an alien spacecraft. The new Pompidou Center art museum in the eastern French city of Metz has generated a big buzz in the architecture world, largely for its complex free-form roof. When it opens to the public this week, the strange and arresting building will likely overshadow the Picassos, Dalis and Warhols it is exhibiting. The building is all the more surreal for its setting amid the stern gray clocktowers and church steeples of Metz, chosen for its strategic location near France’s borders with Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. Reporters got a preview of the museum, an outpost of Paris’ Pompidou Center for modern and contemporary art, on Monday, two days before the opening. Even many of those who find the exterior absurd will appreciate the galleries and how they interact with the art. On the ground floor, a hang