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Paris may be the ultimate destination for art history buffs (Degas, Rodin, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Dalí have all called the city home), but for some reason, the French capital has struggled to assert itself as a major player in the modern and contemporary art world. That's poised to change over the next few years. The Centre Pompidou continues to up the stakes with enviable programming (including a major retrospective dedicated to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama launching October 10); the Palais de Tokyo is reopening next year after massive renovations; LVMH CEO Bernard Arnualt is finally moving forward with his Frank Gehry-designed museum; and last year the city got its very own branch of the ultra-blue-chip Gagosian Gallery. The programming at Gagosian's new outpost has been nothing short of major, with shows dedicated to Richard Prince, Richard Avedon and Elizabeth Peyton. The gallery kicked off the fall season yesterday with a museum-caliber exhibition of work by the 20th century master Robert Rauschenberg.

Traveling to Paris? Check into one of these small hotels.

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