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Chipperfield’s Reims arts museum shelved

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David Chipperfield Architects’ competition-winning Grand Musée Boulingrin project has been abandoned after Reims’ mayor declared it was too expensive

The £43 million museum – also known as the Musée des Beaux-arts – has been shelved because the French government cancelled its £8 million contribution towards the scheme.

Reims’ mayor has instead announced any remaining funds would fund redeveloping a sports complex which closed recently due to safety concerns.

According to Artnet News, Mayor Arnaud Robinet said: ‘We must finish this project, as it satisfies a demand, and more importantly responds to an important need. We’ll have to see if two major projects are doable, but it’ll be complicated.’

Robinet is expected to meet France’s ministry of culture to discuss plans for an alternative museum scheme for the city.

Project supporters however claim around £4 million so far spent developing the proposal has now been wasted.

Chipperfield won an international competition for the 11,287m² museum two years ago (AJ 28.05.12).

Originally planned to complete in 2018, the scheme featured three volumes and a façade composed of translucent marble and glass ceramic panels.

Located between the old and new town of Reims, the mostly naturally lit museum would have hosted art from the past six centuries.

A 12 metre-high hall was also planned to span an excavation site featuring mediaeval artefacts.

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