Search: Louvre Pour Tous

McDonald’s At The Louvre

NON!McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s largest corporate chain of fast food hamburger restaurants and unfortunately an icon of American “culture”, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in France by opening a McDonald’s restaurant and McCafé in the Louvre museum this coming November, 2009.

The U.K. Daily Telegraph confirmed the story in an October 4th article, reporting that McDonald’s “faces a groundswell of discontent among museum staff.” The article quoted an art historian who works at the Louvre, who spoke only under the condition of anonymity: “This is the last straw. This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odors in the context of a museum.” No doubt there will be an outpouring of displeasure from the French people as well, since many have regarded McDonald’s as the spear point of U.S. cultural imperialism.

The Daily Telegraph article mentioned the activist group Louvre Pour Tous (Louvre For All), an arts advocacy organization I have written about in the past. A spokesperson for the group said the following about the Louvre McDonald’s: “Henri Loyrette, president of the Louvre museum, just had to say one word to stop the whiff of French fries from wafting past the Mona Lisa’s nose. He chose otherwise.”

It should be remembered that French farmer José Bové became a national hero in France when in 1999 he used a tractor to bulldoze a McDonald’s restaurant under construction in the town of Millau. Bové acted in unison with thousands of other farmers who were angrily opposing – not just American junk food (“malbouffe” – “foul food”), but the juggernaut of corporate globalization and its crushing of national culture.

While the French people have become more accommodating towards the U.S. corporate giant since Bové’s protest, it is difficult to imagine their accepting the spectacle of Ronald McDonald in the palatial halls of France’s greatest museum. I have no doubt French citizens will view the Louvre McDonald’s as an affront to their palace of fine art and to their world renown cuisine – it is an unbearable insult that I too find wholly unacceptable.

The Louvre For Free!

This past Jan.15th, over 200 artists, teachers, and students assembled outside the Louvre in Paris to protest the museum having stripped them of free entry. Last Sept. the museum did away with its policy of free entry for arts professionals and students, igniting a storm of disapproval. The “Louvre For All” protest was backed by 22 unions – including the two largest in France.

Demonstrators circulated handbills to tourists, explaining how the museum gives free entry to the employees of the museum’s corporate backers, such as oil company giant Total SA, while barring free entry to artists and students. Along with demanding that free entry for arts professionals be reinstated, activists are pressuring the Louvre do away with entry fees altogether.

Interviewed in Le Monde, the president of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, seemed unmoved by the campaign. He simply noted that the museum is cheaper than museums in Europe and the US. Loyrette failed to mention that one of the greatest museums in the US, the Getty Museum of Los Angeles -is free. And how would the president of the Louvre react to news that the Swedish government has just declared permanent free entry to all of its museums? On January 24th, the Swedish Parliament stated “all citizens have the right to culture” regardless of economic status. A royal decree then established free access to over 300 museums, galleries, and art centers, guaranteeing right of entry for Swedes and foreigners alike.

Clearly, the world’s art museums contain treasures that belong to all of humanity, and that collective heritage should not be on view only to those who can afford a ticket. The only recent mention of the Louvre in the US media concerns the French government allowing director Ron Howard to shoot his “The Da Vinci Code” movie on museum property. While Mr. Howard and his film’s star, Tom Hanks, will no doubt enjoy free entry to the Louvre… international artists and art students will not. Visit the “Louvre For All” website, at: http://louvrepourtous.site.voila.fr/. You can always drop that url into Altavista’s Babel Fish universal translator to find out more details in any language.

Update: Free The Louvre!

The Louvre For All!

On Saturday January 15, 2005, starting at 11:30 in the morning, a huge demonstration will take place in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Parisians and international artists and art lovers will be demanding that the famous museum drop all admission charges to become a free museum. The protest organizers, “The Louvre For All”, cite the Los Angeles Getty Museum as an example of a major art museum being free and open to the public.

The protest is receiving wide support from the arts community, student groups and educators. The organizers of the protest are asking all artists, art students, teachers, and supporters of the arts… including art lovers from around the world, to join the call that the Louvre be made a free museum. Take a moment to sign the international petition to be presented to the Louvre on January 15th. Simply send an e-mail to: louvrepourtous@free.fr – indicating your last name, first name, profession, city, country, and website (if any). Visit the French language The Louvre For All website, at: http://louvrepourtous.site.voila.fr/ You can always drop that url into Altavista’s Babel Fish universal translator to find out more details in any language.

THE LOUVRE FOR ALL!

The Louvre For All!

BREAKING NEWS: My weblog is apparently the first English language source to report the following story. The renowned Louvre Museum of Paris has cancelled its policy of free admission for artists, teachers, and foreign art students. The annulment went into effect last September after the museum’s price of admission increased by 13%, despite public disapproval. In response, a national – international demonstration of artists has been called for Saturday, January 15, 2005 in front of the Pyramid of the Louvre. The organizers of the protest, “The Louvre For All”, are calling upon all artists, art students, teachers, and supporters of the arts… including art lovers from around the world, to join the protest against the growing commercialization of the Louvre.

The protest will not only call for the immediate re-establishment of price exemptions for art students and teachers both foreign and domestic, it will also demand that the Louvre drop admission charges altogether to become a free museum. The protest organizers cite the Los Angeles Getty Museum as an example of a major art museum being free and open to the public. Take a moment to sign the international petition to be presented to the Louvre on January 15th. Simply send an e-mail to: louvrepourtous@free.fr – indicating your last name, first name, profession, city, country, and website (if any). Visit the French language The Louvre For All website, at: http://louvrepourtous.site.voila.fr/ You can always drop that url into Altavista’s Babel Fish universal translator to find out more details in any language.