The “Centre Pompidou X Jersey City” is in trouble

Jersey City (New Jersey). Will the Centre Pompidou branch in Jersey City across from Manhattan finally see the light of day? It’s off to a bad start. Proudly announced by former Centre Pompidou president Serge Lasvignes in 2021 for 2024, its opening had already been postponed to 2026 due to various technical problems. The Parisian center even announced 2027 in its latest documents. But today, it’s the project itself that is being called into question.

The New Jersey State Economic Development Agency sent a letter to the Center’s president on June 29, announcing that it “put the project on hold indefinitely”. At the same time, it informed the City of Jersey City, which is leading the project, that it was canceling its $24 million grant planned for the rehabilitation of the Pathside Building, a 1912 building that was to house the branch, and asked it to return the $6 million (€5.6 million) already paid. The agency then canceled its promise of an annual operating grant of $2 million. The official reason given? the very unbalanced economic model of the art center. The municipal authorities are in fact counting on direct annual revenues of an amount ranging from $4 to $9 million for expenses estimated at $23 million.

But Steven Fulop, the Democratic mayor of Jersey City, and the American media have another explanation. Fulop some time ago withdrew his support for the wife of the current governor of the state, Phil Murphy, who was running for senator in the elections next November (she has since dropped out). Steven Fulop, who is not going to run for mayor of Jersey City, is himself running for governor in place of Phil Murphy who is not running again. James McGreevey, the former governor of the state who had to resign following a sex scandal, and who is running in Jersey City, has openly declared himself opposed to the project.

Steven Fulop has not lost all hope, at least in speech. This does not suit the Centre Pompidou, which was counting on this branch to expand its network in a key continent – ​​and it must be acknowledged that it was a nice move – and even more on the financial revenue that the rental of its name and its works as well as the sale of cultural engineering were to bring it. It is understandable that, under these conditions, the Centre did not want to make any comments to the Journal of the Arts who requested it.

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