Work recently began on the project, which will house hundreds of pieces of the museum's extensive collection.
"The 150 million euro ($226 million) museum in Lens, to open in 2012, is part of a strategy to spread art beyond the traditional bastions of culture in Paris to new audiences in the provinces. The Pompidou Center modern-art museum is opening a branch in the eastern city of Metz, and it also hopes to show its masterpieces in a circus big top that will travel to culturally deprived areas.
Lens was picked for the Louvre project because it could use a reversal of fortune. The city was reduced to rubble by the Germans during World War I. During World War II it was occupied by the Nazis and battered by Allied bombings."