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Masterpieces from Centre Pompidou soon on display

The Hong Kong Museum of Art will present an exhibition to provide the public with a rare opportunity to view 58 masterpieces from Centre Pompidou in France.

The extraordinary exhibition – "Artists and Their Models - Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris" - featuring works by great artists, such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Brancusi, Soutine, Modigliani, Dubuffet, Bacon, Balthus, Adami, and Raysse Martial, will be held from September 30 to December 3.

The works to be shown include paintings, sculptures and installations with portraiture as the theme. They are not only representative works illustrating various important schools of art that range from cubism and futurism to surrealism and pop art, but also masterpieces that reflect the artists' perception of the changing times, demonstrating the diverse creativity in the art of portraiture.

Announcing the exhibition at a press conference today (September 8), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, noted that in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, the Museum of Art would brought to Hong Kong some of modern art's greatest treasures, dating from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.

"Only very rarely have such remarkable works been lent to outside establishments for exhibition, and this is the first time they will be shown in Asia, where the Hong Kong Museum of Art is the only host venue," Mr Chow said.

"Over the years, we have been continuously bringing in world-class cultural and art events to enable members of the public to appreciate art and cultural treasures. That would not have been possible without support and generous sponsorship from the public and private sectors, for which we are very grateful.

"Following the great support given to the exhibition 'Impressionism: Treasures from the National Collection of France' held last year, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited has once again provided generous sponsorship for the exhibition this year. Bel-Air, which has been supporting various art events in Hong Kong, has for the first time provided kind sponsorship helping the Museum of Art present this significant exhibition. Throughout the years, the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art have been sponsoring various exhibitions and educational activities and offering donations to the museum. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the three major sponsors, and other supporting organisations for their unfailing contributions and generosity."

Mr Chow also extended his gratitude to the South China Morning Post, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and the Polytrade Paper Corporation Limited for their support in publicising of the exhibition and producing the exhibition catalogue respectively.

"It is the partnership among Government, the public and the private sector that has made the presentation of world-class exhibitions and art events possible."

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Centre Pompidou, Paris in collaboration with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and is co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Other officiating guests attending today's press conference included the Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macao, Mr Jean-Pierre Thebault, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Mr Mike Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Century Premium Developments Limited, Mr Robert Lee, and the Chairman of The Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Mrs Nancy Lee.

The Museum of Art will introduce a number of measures to allow more people the chance to see the exhibition. These include extending its daily opening hours to 8pm. The museum will accept pre-bookings for visits by school groups and non-profit-making organisations on Thursdays, when it is normally closed.

To enhance viewers' appreciation of the exhibition, an education gallery will be set up with introductory text and interesting activities. Audio guides, free public guided tours, special lectures, video programmes, demonstrations and workshops, an exhibition web-kit, worksheets and on-site education kits and painting activities will also be available during the exhibition period. The Arts Resource Centre of the Hong Kong Central Library will run a book exhibition, "Artists and Their Models", from October 1 to November 30.

A fully illustrated catalogue and a booklet will be published for sale at the Gift Shop of the Museum of Art.

"Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris" exhibition will open from 10am to 8pm daily and be closed on Thursdays, except public holidays. Due to the National Day Fireworks Display, it will close at 6pm on October 1. Admission for this exhibition will be $40. A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities. "Free Admission on Wednesdays" and the LCSD Weekly Pass are not applicable to this exhibition.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For details of the exhibition, visit the Museum of Art's website at . For enquiries, call 2721 0116.

Ends/Friday, September 8, 2006
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