Europe

France opens 'Guggenheim of wine' in Bordeaux

A picture taken on 14 March 2016 in Bordeaux, south-western France, shows a general view of the Cite du Vin Image copyright AFP
Image caption A "swirl in a wine glass" - Bordeaux's new shrine to wine, which it is hoped will attract 450,000 visitors a year

A new museum devoted to the culture of wine around the world has opened its doors in Bordeaux.

La Cite du Vin was designed by Paris-based XTU Architects to resemble "the swirl in a wine glass". It cost €81m (£63m; $90m) to build.

It has been dubbed a "Guggenheim to wine" - a reference to the New York art museum - by Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppe.

He attended the museum's inauguration on Tuesday, along with President Francois Hollande.

The president is currently battling a wave of industrial unrest and was unable to escape protests for the inauguration. He was met by demonstrators protesting against both a contested new labour law and the use of pesticides in wine production.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The shimmering, 14,000 sq m structure was designed by Nicolas Desmazieres and Anouk Legendre and took about three years to build.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Museum facilities include a restaurant and a cave a vin - a wine boutique - with 14,000 bottles from more than 80 countries, as well as grape juice for younger visitors.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Special exhibition zones explore, for instance, the art of wine-tasting.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The swirling shape of the building is also a reference to the eddies of the nearby Garonne river. City authorities are hoping for 450,000 visitors a year.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Thousands of wine bottles form ceiling lights in one room boasting panoramic views of Bordeaux.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption President Francois Hollande (left) toasted the museum's opening with Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppe,
Image copyright AFP
Image caption But even here Mr Hollande was unable to shake off protesters - here highlighting the health impact of the use of pesticides in grape growing.

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