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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Tycoon plans Paris arts complex
Franck Gehry
Architect Franck Gehry poses with a model of the new centre
France's richest man has unveiled plans to build a major contemporary arts centre in Paris.

Luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault wants to open the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation in 2010.

The 6,000 square metre space will be designed by Frank Gehry, the architect behind the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

"The goal of this foundation is to spread the influence of culture, and the influence of France," Mr Arnault told a press conference.

"We will place contemporary art in the context of modern and classical art," he added.

Frequent sponsor

The space will house exhibition galleries, an auditorium and an indoor garden.

As well as housing temporary shows, the foundation will also feature the history and archives of Mr Arnault's LVMH group, which is behind Moet et Chandon champagne, Hennessy brandy, Givenchy perfume and baggage brand Louis Vuitton.

Mr Arnault frequently sponsors exhibitions in Paris, and his personal collection includes American artist Ellsworth Kelly's 1968 abstract painting, Red White Blue, which he bought in 2001 for $1.4m (742,107).

Five years ago Mr Arnault's business rival Francois Pinault - owner of Christie's and founder of luxury brand PPR - launched his own scheme to bring a contemporary arts space to Paris.

But the project was abandoned last year, with Mr Pinault complaining about administrative delays.




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