The «museums of France» are museums approved by the State and benefiting primarily from its assistance, according to the terms of the law of 4 January 2002. The Appellation «Musée de France» can be granted to museums belonging to the State, to another legal person under public law or to a person under private law not for profit. More than 1,200 museums benefit from the name «Musée de France».
What is the Appellation «Musée de France»?
The Appellation «Musée de France» was created by the law of 4 January 2002.
Thus is considered as «Musée de France», within the meaning of this law, «any permanent collection composed of goods whose conservation and presentation take on a interest public and organized for the knowledge, education and pleasure of the public” (Art. L. 410-1.).
The museum that owns such a collection must also meet specific criteria to obtain this designation:
- Commitment to missions: to preserve, restore, study, enrich collections; to make them accessible to the public; to implement educational and dissemination actions; to contribute to the progress and dissemination of research (Art. L. 441-2.).
- Must be directed by a scientific staff from the territorial or national cultural sector (curator or conservation attaché).
- Have an educational service in your own or in network with other museums.
- Maintain an inventory of its collections.
- Write a scientific and cultural project (CSP) that sets out its main orientations.
They constitute a dense network throughout the territory, metropolis and overseas. Museums in France can depend on local authorities: municipalities, communities of commune, departments, regions. They may also depend on the state, as well as associations or foundations.
Of the more than 1,200 museums in France, 82% belong to local authorities or their grouping, 13% to «legal persons under private law (associations or foundations)» and 5% to the State.
The Appellation provides the following advantages:
- Mention in communication documents distributed by the Ministry of Culture;
- Possibility of obtaining specific road signs bearing the logo;
- Authorization to use the label and its logo on all communication and signage documents;
- Participation in national communication days (European Night of Museums, etc.);
- State grant opportunities in the following areas: investment, conservation, restoration, cultural and educational exhibitions and activities, publishing (support for the creation of scientific and cultural jobs in certain regions). For acquisitions, eligibility for the Regional Museum Acquisition Fund and the Heritage Fund. If applicable, eligibility for the Regional Restoration Fund;
- Possibility to benefit for acquisitions of the right of pre-emption of the State (Art. L.123- 2) ;
- Possibility to benefit from tax provisions in favour of corporate sponsorship for acquisitions;
- Inalienability (Art. L. 451-5.), imprescriptibility (Art. L. 451-3.) and Collections Security (Theft Guarantee);
- Possibility to transfer the ownership of the collections to another museum in France, or to benefit from the transfer of ownership of collections from another museum in France (Art. L. 451-8 and 451-10.);
- Possibility to benefit from the advice and expertise of the State services both within the Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs and within the Service des musées de France (architects-consultants, restorers-consultants, curators of the French Museum Service, specialists in audiences and new technologies);
- Possibility to benefit from deposits of national museums (s. D.423-9).
To become a «Musée de France», the owner of the «collection» must send a request to the services of the Ministry of Culture and, if applicable, to the minister responsible for the museum or who is responsible for it.
The documents to be produced are:
- An inventory of the assets assigned to the museum’s collections indicating the origin of the properties of the assets. This inventory may contain a limited number of items (decree of 25 May 2004 on inventory and proofing). However, it is strongly recommended to draw up a regulatory inventory from the outset to avoid subsequent amendments;
- A guidance document setting out the scientific and cultural objectives of the museum and the conditions and means necessary for their implementation. This document is a simplified scientific and cultural project.
In addition, the following documents are attached:
- The projected staff structure;
- The annual budget of the institution;
- The proposed tariffs (entry fee and activity) and a table of the planned development of financial and personnel resources for the next five years.
Where the application for designation comes from a private legal person, the file also includes (Art. R. 442-2.):
- A statement by the legal representative of the legal person certifying that the legal personis not the subject of a receivership or liquidation proceeding under Title II of Book VI of the French Commercial Code and that none of the assets comprising the collections are used to guarantee a debt;
- A certificate issued by the competent authority (as the case may be, commercial court, department prefecture or customs service) stating the absence of registration of real security interests in these goods, where such registration may be made;
- The justification for the publication, in a newspaper authorised to receive legal advertisements instead of the registered office, of a notice mentioning the application for the granting of the “Musée de France” designation and the consistency of the inventory produced in support of this request;
- A copy of the statutes providing for the irrevocable appropriation to the presentation to the public, within the framework of a «Musée de France», of the property acquired by donations and bequests or with the assistance of the State or a local authority.
The Appellation «Musée de France» is awarded by decision of the minister responsible for culture, after opinion of the High Council of Museums of France.
Legal and regulatory framework: