Cultural center opens in New Caledonia

The Centre Culturel Tjibaou (CCT) has exhibition and performance areas, a permanent gallery, a library and a resource center.

Built on a promontory six miles from the town's center amid 20 acres of gardens, it is designed to promote and preserve the local Kanak and other Pacific cultures.

The buildings, 10 huge shell-like, hardwood structures, the highest of which rises to 90 feet, are in the design of traditional Kanak homes.

The center includes a 400-seat theater; two outdoor performance areas able to handle 1,000 and 2,000 people; a large area devoted to new art, and a restaurant featuring local foods.

CCT is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, a pro-independence Kanak leader who signed peace accords in 1988 and was assassinated in 1989.

CCT was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who is best known for designing the Pompidou Center in Paris.

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