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Pégard, Catherine

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Le Point - France | 20/06/2006

Chirac inaugurates his legacy museum

The daily regards today's [Tuesday, June 20]inauguration in Paris of the Musee du Quai Branly - an institution dedicated to the art of non-western civilisations that has been a personal pet project of Jacques Chirac - as an encapsulation of the French president's convictions. "His passion for aboriginal art has become in a certain way a recurrent theme of his presidency. ... It has assumed a deliberate and all-embracing character where everything blends together: the feeling of being at ease in unappreciated or humiliated cultures, the recognition that they bring him on the world stage, and a message to France not to withdraw into itself. Jacques Chirac is not just looking to reconcile esthetics and ethnology; he seeks to project a global vision of the world via 'his' museum. ... Upon discovering the Quai Branly, foreign journalists are often surprised that cultural ambition is so closely allied with politics. That, too, is the French exception."

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