“Musées Debout”

Musées Debout, an alternative path to culture

Carole is an art-history student at the Sorbonne, Marie, a translator, Ariane, a doctoral student in archaeology. Meanwhile, Guillaume Kientz, is a curator in the painting department of the Musée du Louvre… They talk to us about this collective – this “pool of free electrons” baptised Musées Debout *, born in April 2016, and its strong belief in the museum’s federating power within society. The museum is seen not just as a player in cultural democratisation, but also as an object of personal appropriation. This participatory initiative also takes the form of a forum for discussion, where all are free to raise their wishes or regrets in relation to the institution. We take to the streets to investigate.   What was the starting point of the Musées Debout? Guillaume Kientz: It was a Sunday, 10 April. I was on the Place de la République (editorial note: gathering site of the Nuit Debout); a lot of people were gathered and talking about all sorts of topics, without ever raising the world of museums and heritage. I thought that this was a shame. Once again, people were trying to reconstruct the world without raising the issue of museums. I sent out a Tweet: let’s launch Musées Debout. On Monday, we met under the Arche du Carrousel. There were five of us. On Tuesday, between ten to fifteen of us, and on Wednesday we headed to the Place de la République. Ever since, we’ve continued to grow and even spread to other French cities: Caen, Montpellier, Lille, Toulouse, Troyes, Limoges… all Musées Debout collectives born out of this initiative.   In what form has this movement taken place? G.K.: The agora is the Place de la République, where we can talk freely about art and museums. We have two types of activities....

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