Malaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso, has been developing as a major centre for the arts over the last 15 years with the opening of the Picasso Museum and the Centre for Contemporary Art in 2003 and the Museo Carmen Thyssen in 2011. This year will see two major new additions to its cultural life with the opening of the first overseas branches of St Petersburg’s State Russian Museum and Paris’s Pompidou Centre.
2,300 sq m of space in the refurbished historic Fabrica de Tabacos (Tobacco Factory) which already houses the new Automobile Museum will display art from St Petersburg’s State Russian Museum. Around 100 works of art including traditional Byzantine Russian icons, paintings by Chagall and Kandinsky and Social Realism artworks from the Soviet era will be on permanent display, supplemented with annual temporary exhibitions under a 10-year preliminary agreement between the Museum and the City of Malaga.
In November, the City of Malaga announced that Paris’ Pompidou Centre had agreed to open a branch there in 2015, to be housed in 6,000 sqm of space in “El Cubo”, a glass cube which is part of the revitalisation of the port area and that it would spend around 5 million euros to renovate the space for a 5 year arrangement.. More than 90 works of modern art will be on permanent loan, including artists such as Francis Bacon, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, supplemented by rotating displays. This will be the first branch of the Pompidou Centre outside of France
The curators are aiming for “innovative, interactive and multidisciplinary experiences with a particular focus on young audiences and people of all levels of artistic knowledge”. The choice of works will also be made to compliment those in other museums in Malaga. It will be interesting to see how the curators and designers balance conservation needs with the architectural design of a glass cube.
These two new initiatives reinforce Malaga’s position as a growing international cultural and artistic centre.