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The French have revamped their permanent collection at the Pompidou Centre in imitation of a British, themed style. It alters the way we see the 20th century

By Ben Lewis   September 2005

Imitation, said Oscar Wilde, is the sincerest form of flattery. What could be more flattering than the French imitating the British in matters of art? This is the unimaginable twist that has taken place at Paris’s museum of modern and contemporary art, the Pompidou Centre. Appropriately for a building designed by a British architect (Richard Rogers), the curators have revamped their permanent collection, exhibiting it, like we do at the Tate Modern, according to the themes of 20th-century art rather than its chronology. This spectacular display offers both the raciest tour through modern art ever devised and a concrete manifestation…

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