Paris, 31 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Last Saturday, 26 January, the Musée d’Orsay vigilantes expelled an underprivileged family who was visiting the collections, accompanied by a volunteer from a charity. The reason given was the repeated complaints of other visitors bothered by the smell of the family.
Vice-President of the Association of solidarity ATD reacted immediately and wrote to the Musée d’Orsay, the Ministry of Culture and the National Museums. “This shows what kind of discrimination the underprivileged have to suffer on daily bases, discrimination you have to cope with when you wear extreme poverty on your face, it is seen and treated differently. Everyday situations like this happen all the time and most discriminated people do not dare to react” (AFP and Le Parisien).
Interviewed by Radio Classique on 29 January, Aurélie Filippetti explained the incident from her point of view: there was no “moral fault” even though she considered the incident as an “unfortunate” one. The Minister of Culture, however, requested that Orsay send a detailed report, recalling that all national museums are involved with charitable associations for better access to culture and that this incident was marginal.