Shedding its reputation as just a gateway to the Costa del Sol, Málaga is fast becoming one of Spain’s cultural capitals and a sought-after city break destination.
Without question, the distinctively colourful pipes which envelop Paris’ Centre Pompidou make this building one of the French capital’s most recognisable sights. And contained within this arresting kaleidoscopic shell is the Musée National d’Art Moderne, boasting one of the world’s finest permanent collections of 20th-century art, from Pop Art to Plastic Art, Cubism to Fauvism, Surrealism to Dadaism and even cinema and architecture. Attracting both art aficionados and novices alike with its wealth of modern masterpieces, the Centre Pompidou ranks as one of Paris’ top visitor attractions.
Many modern art fans may already be aware that the Centre Pompidou already has a sister museum in the city of Metz in northeast France, yet exciting plans are afoot for a pop-up Pompidou museum in the southern Spanish town of Málaga, scheduled to open in March this year. A temporary offshoot of its Parisian ‘mother ship’, the Pompidou Málaga is earmarked to be open for an initial five-year period, and will host a programme of temporary exhibitions and specially selected works drawn from the Pompidou’s permanent collection in Paris, some 76,000 in total.
Indeed, according to the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, works by great names of the modern art world including Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Francis Bacon and René Magritte have reputedly already been approved for loan, however no official line-up has yet been announced for its grand opening, its exact date still to be confirmed. Whatever the collection however, the arrival of such prominent artworks will help to strengthen Málaga’s reputation as a leading city of art and culture, complementing the already existing Museo Picasso Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen, an offshoot of Madrid’s Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC).
The Pompidou Málaga will be housed in a large glass cube, known as El Cubo, on the quayside in the city’s newly renovated port and with 6,000 square metres of exhibition space, estimates put visitor numbers at around 200,000 people in its first year. The installation of the artworks will be overseen not only by a curator from Paris’ Centre Pompidou but also the director of Málaga’s Fundación Picasso-Museo Casa Natal, otherwise known as the Picasso Foundation and birthplace museum and itself an interesting and worthwhile visit whilst in town.
So much more than a launchpad to the resorts along the Costa del Sol, Málaga makes for a perfect city-break candidate, not least when you consider the wealth of direct flights from the UK serving the city. With the lapping waters of the Mediterranean, the balmy spring sunshine, culture in abundance and a laid-back, cosmopolitan atmosphere, why not blast away the winter chills with a short break in this most attractive of Spanish cities?