The 12-metre-high Domestikator by Dutch sculptor Joep van Lieshout was initially to be shown in the Tuileries, which adjoins the Louvre, as part of Paris's annual International Contemporary Art Fair (Fiac).
But at the last minute the Louvre's president Jean-Luc Martinez cancelled the invitation, telling Fiac's organisers, that it was being perceived as having "too crude a vision for our traditional public in the Tuileries Gardens".
Pompidou Centre chief Bernard Blistène clearly felt that his public is made of sterner stuff and agreed that the huge wood, steel and fibreglass structure could be placed on the vast space in front of his museum, which is as famous for its bold design as for its contents.
The work is "a magnificent utopia in harmony with the public space", Blistènedeclared.
Van Lieshout said he was "happy that visitors to the Pompidou Centre will have the chance to experience this work and I hope that it will generate questions and dialogue around the questions raised by domestication in our world".
The row comes three years after a giant inflatable sculpture resembling a sex toy was unveiled in a historic square in front of the Ritz hotel.
Some 70 sculptures have been erected across Paris for the 44th Fiac.
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