The Centre Pompidou was built because President George Pompidou wanted people of all backgrounds to experience art and culture in Paris. He thought of the idea in 1968, and the project was completed in 1978.
To complete Le Centre Pompidou, George Pompidou brought in the Italian architect Renzo Piano and drafted the assistance of an English engineering firm. The building became controversial, as its modern appearance contrasted sharply with the surrounding traditional Parisian buildings. The frame is entirely exposed along with tubular steel columns and a staircase that is visible from the outside. After a few years, the constant stream of visitors began to wear the structure down. It closed down for a short while before opening again in 1999.
Visitors to Paris go to the Centre Pompidou to see art and photography exhibitions. In addition, the building features three bookshops and two restaurants, some of which visitors can access without paying admission. During the busy summer period, tickets cost more than the off-peak season. There is often free entertainment outside the center in the form of jugglers and other street artists. Nearby is the whimsical Stravinsky Fountain, which features vibrant sculptures of lips and hearts. At night the area becomes very lively, with locals and tourists enjoying nearby bars and clubs.