Culture in Covid

French mayors sign petition to reopen all cultural venues concurrently

The Folies Bergères in Paris. The sign reads "Coming soon".  (Illustration photo)
The Folies Bergères in Paris. The sign reads "Coming soon". (Illustration photo) © Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Several French regional presidents and mayors of major cities, including Paris's Anne Hidalgo, have signed a petition calling on the government to reopen all cultural establishments at the same time and scrap proposals to prioritise the reopening of certain venues such as museums. 

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While Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot announced 10 days ago that museums would be the first to reopen as soon as the Covid-19 epidemic improves, the Syndeac union of artistic and cultural enterprises launched a petition on Wednesday calling for all cultural venues to reopen "at the same time".

Syndeac stressed that all cultural players "refute the distinction sought by the government between museums, cinemas and theatres".

Five regional presidents and around a dozen mayors, from major cities including Paris, Lille, Rennes and Nantes, signed the petition. The main professional organisations signed it.

"We ask the government to reopen all cultural institutions without exception and to announce a review date within a reasonable time frame: museums, cinemas and theatres must be opened at the same time," wrote the authors of the petition.

To facilitate the reopening, the signatories said they would be willing to strengthen health measures if the need arose.

On Monday, the culture minister said she was looking for a model that would allow the reopening of music venues during the Covid-19 epidemic. Bachelot announced two experiments, to analyse levels of transmission at a "standing" music concert where attendees are free to move about, as opposed to a seated event, scheduled to take place from March in Marseille and Paris.

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