In accordance with the schedule announced by the President of the Republic, the Maison de l'histoire de France will be created on 1 January 2012 in the form of an administrative public institution (EPA) placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, whose statutory decree was deliberated this morning in the Council of Ministers.
This project responds to a scientific and cultural ambition: to make available to the greatest number the knowledge of the history of France, to promote its understanding and critical analysis, to place it in an approach open to Europe and the world, develop new areas of historical research.
To implement this approach, the Scientific Steering Committee of the Maison de l'histoire de France, constituted in January 2011 and chaired by Jean-Pierre Rioux, designed a scientific preliminary project that was submitted to the Minister last June. This preliminary draft was then sent to more than a thousand qualified personalities and was the subject of consultations conducted throughout France to refine the recommendations. This Committee, now perpetuated in the statutes of the institution, will present the final version of the scientific and cultural project of the Maison de l'histoire de France in January 2012. Comprising 20 experts – historians, heritage curators, publishers – and a chair, composed of Jean-Pierre Rioux and the members of the Committee appointed in January, it will be one of the relays of the dialogue between the Maison de l'histoire de France and the various actors involved in the production and dissemination of history.
The public establishment will constitute around it a network of partners, in France as well as abroad: cultural institutions relating to history, art and history museums, cities and countries of art and history, archives and libraries, archaeological and historical sites, memorials and histories, houses of the illustrious, university research units, learned societies in particular. A special place will be reserved for nine national museums, whose sites and collections are at the meeting point between arts and history: this first circle of partnerships will be established in the form of a Public Interest Group, whose presidency will be held by the president of the public establishment.
One of the first missions of the Maison de l'histoire de France will be to mobilize or develop, in the service of the knowledge and dissemination of history, a wide range of tools aimed at all audiences, from the most specialized to the widest possible: Maison de l'histoire de France numérique, audiovisual productions, conferences, exhibitions, editions. The opening, on 18 January 2012, of the exhibition "La France en relief – Masterpieces of the collection of reliefs from Louis XIV to Napoleon III", housed under the nave of the Grand Palais with a scenography and innovative multimedia devices, will be the first major operation, intended for the largest public, of the Maison de l'histoire de France.
Frédéric Mitterrand wishes to greet Jean-François Hebert, President of the Château de Fontainebleau, whose remarkable work at the head of the association of prefiguration of the house of history of France, created in September 2010, made it possible to create the new public institution within the time provided and to take decisive steps in the implementation of this emblematic project of the action of the President of the Republic.
The establishment will also be called upon to design and build the Galerie des temps, which will be located in the Rohan-Soubise Quadrilateral, as well as temporary exhibition spaces.
The Minister proposed to the President of the Republic to appoint to the presidency of the new public establishment Madame Maryvonne de Saint-Pulgent, State Councillor, who was notably Director of Heritage at the Ministry of Culture. She currently chairs the Department’s History Committee, is a member of the boards of directors of the Musée d'Orsay and the Centre national de la Cinématographie et de l'image animée (CNC), President of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) and the Board of Directors of the Opéra Comique, producer at France Culture.