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$121M Paris art museum unveiled by François Pinault and Tadao

François Pinault, a Paris billionaire won a long battle to place his contemporary art collection took a leap forward this week when the Japanese architect Tadao Ando unveiled his design to turn a historic rotunda in central Paris into a circular private museum housing the luxury magnate’s collection.

The luxury goods tycoon has tasked the Japanese architect with transforming the storied Bourse de Commerce building into a new 32,000-square-foot gallery and exhibition space for his collection of contemporary art.

The protected building is said to be inspired by Rome’s Pantheon, and features a soaring glass dome and elaborate frescoes. Ando will insert a cylindrical three-tiered structure inside the historic rotunda to create gallery space for artworks from Pinault’s 3,000-piece collection, as well as an underground auditorium. Mr. Ando plans to build a circular structure with three levels of galleries inside the round building, which is bound by strict historic preservation norms.

Mr. Pinault, 80, has been trying for years to find a home for his collection in Paris. When his earlier plans were thwarted by red tape, he opened two museum spaces in Venice, the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, both of which were also renovated by Mr. Ando. Paris gave Mr. Pinault the use of the Bourse in 2016 on a 50-year lease.

Slated to open in early 2019, the new museum is expected to cost around 108 million euros ($121 million).

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