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Amselle, Jean-Loup

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Le Nouvel Observateur - France | 09/06/2006

The Musee du Quai-Branly awaits grand opening

The new Parisian museum dedicated to the 'arts of the four continents' is set to be inaugurated on the banks of the Seine on June 23. In an interview with Gilles Anquetil, French anthropologist Jean-Loup Amselle stresses the inconsistencies in Jacques Chirac's pet project. "After a long semantic battle to find a moniker for this new museum of the high arts, the decision was taken with a certain modesty and embarrassment to call it 'Musee du Quai-Branly'. What an intellectual defeat! In the end, the museum is designated by its street address! This is proof of a significant void. It means the museum can house everything and anything. ... I do not want to prejudge the future, nor by any means denigrate this museum. ... If the museum succeeds in helping its visitors to become more aware of the existence of other cultures, of other ways of thinking that are worthy of respect and attention, it will be a triumph. But this is anything but a sure thing."

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