There’s rumbling in the ranks.

Last year the Pompidou Centre in Paris announced plans for an outpost in downtown Jersey City. State Republicans now view a local version of the French museum as “a circus of waste and excess.”

The “excess” refers to the $58 million state funds needed for the project. Is the price tag worth it for a city without art creds? Or does its place in American culture count?

In the movies

You may remember one of the astronauts in the 1974 film “Planet of the Apes” saying, “Why didn’t I buy that nice little bar in Jersey City?

… Just a quiet little bar in Jersey City. A little bell over the door.”

Jersey City also has its place in American literature. I’m thinking of Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” saying that he dated a girl from Jersey City.

There’s even a NJ School of Literature. The New York Times reported it in 2003, noting how writers in this group “consistently link New Jersey symbols – the working class, the industrial skyline – with larger American dilemmas like race and class.”

Then there’s Wallace Stevens poem, “Loneliness in Jersey City,” in which he complained, “There’s nothing whatever to see.” The Pompidou Centre’s intention to loan the city 120,00 artworks from its modern art collection could remedy that situation.

Pompidou’s collection boasts all the superstars of the movement from Kandinsky and Mondrian to Brancusi, Duchamp and Bourgeois. Jersey City’s close proximity to Manhattan could make it a tourist destination for art lovers.

Where’s the rest of me?

All that said, I have a concern about the building housing the museum – a brick warehouse.

Jersey City has a lot in the downtown. The convenience factor is no small thing.

But if you’re going to borrow art from the Pompidou collection along with its name, shouldn’t there be some attention paid to the look of the place?

The architecture of the Pompidou Centre is distinctive for exposing its infrastructure on the outside, down to plumbing pipes and air ducts, as well as mechanical systems – and each color-coded: green for plumbing, blue for air ducts, yellow for electrical systems and red for fire extinguishers.

That kind of look for a building in Jersey City would signal the start of something new that a stock warehouse would not.

Granted the Paris Pompidou’s outlandish architecture didn’t go over very well at first. Most favorable was The National Geographic’s backhanded compliment “Love at second sight.”

But the fact remains, you do take a second look. You don’t pass it by as you would, say, some old-timey brick warehouse.

If Jersey City doesn’t want to go to the expense of creating a new building for its Pompidou on the order of its namesake, how about hanging a mural painting of the face of the Paris museum over the face of the warehouse?

The Paris Pompidou turned the architecture world on its head. Isn’t that what you want for Jersey City, where “there’s nothing whatever to see”?