Building redesigned by Ando Tadao opens in Paris

A historic building that Japanese architect, Ando Tadao, redesigned to function as an art museum has opened in the French capital of Paris.

The transformed Bourse de Commerce opened in central Paris on Saturday.

The building had been used mainly as a commodities exchange since the 18th century. Work was done for about three years to turn it into a museum.

A 9-meter-high concrete cylinder was installed inside the building as a main exhibition space. But the building's glass dome and the rest of its exterior were untouched.

The museum houses a contemporary art collection that belongs to French business tycoon, Francois Pinault.

Visitors can take closer looks at 19th-century murals around the dome from a circular walkway at the top of the cylinder.

The museum was completed last year. But its opening was delayed, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During an interview with NHK, Ando thanked the museum's operator for making the brave decision to open the facility amid the pandemic. He said culture gives people courage. He added that he hopes the museum will empower visitors to overcome the crisis and stay alive.