Ladies and gentlemen,

At the time of opening this ceremony, I remember the maxims of LICHTENBERG, the great moralist of GÖTTINGEN. In the aphorisms left to us by the mischievous German writer of the eighteenth century, the famous author of Consolations addressed to the unfortunate who were born on February 29, I remembered a sentence that I find particularly tasty. She says that “making a wish is a greater sin than breaking it.”… LICHTENBERG liked to make fun of our ceremonies, calendars and conventions…
And yet, I want to make this scepticism lie, and at the beginning of 2010, a little more than six months after my arrival on rue de Valois, I wanted to sacrifice to tradition and to form for you, for us all and with you wishes for the new year that is beginning, to sign a new page in defense and illustration of the ideals and values of Culture and Communication – I almost want to say cultures and their communication.
For for me, as for the President of the Republic, who recalled it during his vows on January 7 at the Cité de la Musique, development is-In other words, the sharing of culture in France is a cause of general interest that I carry here with daily determination and scrupulous attention.
I sacrifice to this ceremony also because I know that you are waiting to better understand the expectations and the outlines of the policy I have been conducting for six months, This is an opportunity to explain my vision of what a cultural policy should be.
The beginning of the year is, in fact, timely because for me it marks the culmination of a first half of work, in which I wanted to give myself time to reflect, without neglecting, of course, the necessities of action which many dossiers have imposed.
This reflection I have conducted here, together with my collaborators, with the strengthened administration and the concentrated forces of my ministry, with the many personalities I have met to gather their point of view. I also wanted to expand it to experienced and often experienced professionals in a number of important areas and sectors within my portfolio.
I am thinking of the TESSIER mission, which recently gave me, as you know, an excellent report, capable of handling boldness and balance, on a complex issue, and sometimes treated with accents that might have beenbe more of the Gallic village than of the Gallic message. It is by following this method of listening and advice that we have already succeeded, I believe, in repeating the cards and moving the lines.
Among the fruitful reflections that I wanted to accompany my action, I am also thinking, of course, of the mission «ZELNIK, TOUBON, CERUTTI», aimed at developing the legal offer on the Internet, and we have begun to study ingenious and innovative proposals with the attention they deserve. This work demonstrates, if need be, that, far from resemble this caricature of the enemy of the Net that some would like to trace, I made of the digital revolution and all that it entails as exceptional potentialities, but also as perils for certain inalienable values such as the right of the artist to be remunerated for his work, one of the main priorities of my action in the ministry.
This action, digital is one of the tools, and I gave it a name, which is like my motto, my viaticum and almost my slogan: «culture for everyone». This is the direction in which I want to go and I want us to walk together with my administration here in Paris, in the regions and in each of our territories, to write a new chapter of French culture that marks not only the New Year, but also the closing of the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of our ministry.
For fifty years, the constant demand for cultural democratization has built a foundation from which it is now possible to invent new horizons. This new horizon, my ideal, my dream for tomorrow’s culture, is what I call, as I told you, "culture for everyone".
I say “culture for everyone”, not just “culture for all”. For culture must touch each one in its particularity, its personality, its difference, whether of origin, environment, territory, sensitivity, or even generation. Nothing is more moving than to see the social boundaries made artificial by the magic of culture, when a neighbourhood association goes to the classical texts, when the classical texts enter the neighbourhoods. I think of the LENS videographers, at the MARSEILLE workshop... I am working closely with my colleague Fadela AMARA to make sure that the word “everyone” is not a hollow word, but a springboard, because culture, far from being a luxury, is one of the keys to social success.
I say “Culture for everyone”, because culture is always received in a unique way in the subjectivity of each person, welcomed in his social and personal environment.
“For everyone” in particular: because culture, I like to say, is the domain of intimacy. Of this “intimate” which is, at the same time – and this is the paradox – the foundation of our life.Together, because what is most profound is what can best serve as a foundation for friendship and for that sense of brotherhood, which is one of the republican ideals to which we probably contribute here more than many other ministries.
“For everyone”, because “culture for all” is all too often culture for the same, always the same – sometimes even for only a few – and that precisely culture today, fifty years after the creation of this ministry, must know how to meet everyone, with generosity, attention and without hindrance.
“Culture for everyone” because culture is not only a “state affair”, and everyone, I think of patrons, private partners, must find their place in supporting the creation and enhancement of our heritage.
“Culture for everyone”, because each one builds his own world from the cultures he has inherited or has chosen to share.
It is in the richness of these exchanges and these mixtures that our identity is built today.
It is in order to fulfil this requirement of “culture for everyone” that I decided to make my priorities: the French Overseas Territories, rural areas, free museums for all young people legally residing in the territory of the European Union, but also this large open space and this «humanism with an urban face» that will be the Grand Pari(s), as well as the Greater Lyon, the Greater Marseille to come and imagine. These are all projects in which architecture will play its full role in building public space as much and more than physical space.
This is also why I supported the initiatives of the establishment of the Louvre in Lens or the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Metz, all of which, I am sure, are intended to spread and multiply. It is also for this reason that I work on the great projects that are the Maison de l'Histoire de France, the Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée de Marseille, the Philharmonie, the Palais de Tokyo, and on so many other sometimes less grandiose projects, but no less essential, and will have to embody the needs and dreams of each and everyone, even in the finest mesh of our territory.
All these “mediators of proximity” that constitute our museums and monuments, have a major role to play in breaking the “glass ceilings” that too often keep our fellow citizens at the door of culture. and to ensure that social intimidation is not an obstacle to this intimate dialogue of each person with culture.
It is for everyone that we must create paths towards works. Because they are not sublime isolates that it would be enough to approach to taste and understand them, but they require an initiation, from an early age. This is why I set up, with my colleague from the National Education Luc CHATEL, a program of arts and cultural education at the school, finally entered into force at all school levels, and which will now allow each student to sharpen his sensitivity to the arts and thus to be introduced to complexity. This project is particularly important to me and the “arts portal”, now accessible on the Internet, is an obvious success.
In a very mobile world where benchmarks sometimes seem less clear than in the past, arts initiation must go hand in hand with the formation of the critical mind: this is the meaning of the operation «Mon journal offert», which allows each young person between the ages of 18 and 24 to receive for one year the daily newspaper of their choice, each week, among 60 national and regional press titles. This operation is already a tremendous success and, in this area as in others, my intention is to sow for the future.
Culture for everyone is also scientific culture, which must not be separated from general culture if we want to build the “knowledge society” we need in the 21st century. «Universcience», born of a rapprochement between the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and the Palais de la Découverte, will lead this reconquest under the aegis of Claudie HAIGNERÉ.
Another area where boldness must prevail and where a new chapter is being written is the Live Show. We are reaping the fruits of the 420 hours of debate of the Valois Talks, that is to say of these exchanges nourished, sometimes even quite frank, between the State, the local authorities and the professionals of the show. It emerges that we are expected to clarify our action and in particular the policy of «labels» whose criteria must be transparent and clear for all. so that audiences can find their bearings among the abundance of performances that are taking place throughout our territory. These labels must obviously be a guarantee of quality and excellence that protects artists at the same time as it reassures and guides audiences. “Culture for Everyone” is also a readable map of shows where everyone can find the path of the genres and artists he loves, whether it is classical theatre or more innovative or even experimental, ballet and contemporary dance. the new circus, scholarly or popular music, or Slam, this new way of wearing and sharing the French language, which I am very interested in. Each of these forms and so many others, which moreover never disdain to mix, must be traceable, so that the public itself makes its choice and composes its pleasures and culture as it pleases.
It is also in order to achieve this priority objective of “culture for everyone”, I said, that I made digitization the major challenge of the 2010’s for culture and the main focus of my policy. Because today, our cultural practices are increasingly being used digitally and in particular on the Internet, as confirmed by the Department’s 10-year survey, which confirmed the omnipresence of this new screen culture. Today, more than ever with the Internet, Culture and Communication are thus truly united and linked by an inseparable link. To carry out this great digital policy, I received the full support of the President of the Republic and the Government: the Commission du Grand Emprunt has granted us no less than 750 million euros for this great work of digital preservation and dissemination of our heritage and the work of our artists. In this way, we will be able to make a large contribution, not only to the development of major infrastructures, but also to the enhancement of cultural content.
The Internet is also a challenge for the press, to which the Ministry has responded strongly: the unprecedented support given to this sector is coupled with a strengthening of the status of publishers on the Internet, so that pluralism of opinion is preserved and even strengthened in our democracy. A year almost to the day after the conclusion of the States General of the Written Press launched by the President of the Republic, we can measure the progress made and glimpse the prospects opening up for this sector, and the work still to be done. The press needed industrial responses to industrial problems, particularly printing, equity and distribution: we have brought them and are in the process of finalizing this first industrial component by reorganizing the distribution system. In this regard, the establishment, by the Prime Minister, of a mediation mission entrusted to Bruno METTLING, to determine the respective commitments of the State and professionals, shows the Government’s commitment to finding a favourable solution to the crisis currently affecting this sector. The second component is already underway: it concerns the quality of information content, the upgrading of journalism professions and practices, the preservation of the pluralism of opinions on all media, and the reconquest of the public. It is in this context that the ministry is particularly interested in photojournalism, that we are now preparing an extension of the operation «My Journal Offert», with a probable opening beyond the daily press; it is also in this context that a reflection on the modernization of Agence France Presse, our great national and international champion of information, takes place. I have set up, as you know, a working group to make proposals on a reform of its statute so that it can continue to carry out its mission in the best possible conditions, and its conclusions will be delivered to me by the spring. These are some of the initiatives we have undertaken in the press sector, and I think I can say that, in the face of the changes taking place in this sector, the department has grasped the problems head on and that work is now well under way; We’ll see it through.
The digital revolution affects all areas of Culture and Communication: the cinema – an extremely flourishing sector, as you know – with a major effort for the equipment of the cinemas in digital, under the aegis of the CNC; television, with the successful launch of DTT; the book, of course; and the issue of digitization—particularly the BnF and Google, but not only that—which we are working on to find the most balanced and appropriate answer.
Digital technology, and the unprecedented opportunities for exchange that it makes possible, plays an essential role, but never replaces the immediate presence, real and not virtual, the confrontation with works – whether in museums or in the performing arts. It is rather a multiplication of the desire to see and know, an invitation to discovery. That is why I am convinced that this choice for the future will bring cultural development, but also another form of growth, sustainable and shared.
This «culture for everyone» that we will wear together will also be embodied in the great popular events that will mark the year 2010, particularly rich in national celebrations: I think of the anniversary of June 18, 1940, the «year HENRI IV», but also on the anniversaries of many artists and not least – CHOPIN, MUSSET, ANOUILH, Jean-Louis BARRAULT, as well as DU BELLAY, NADAR, to name but a few – without forgetting the memory of the independence of the countries of Francophone Africa, The celebration, especially on our national holiday, will be a highlight. I am also thinking of the France-Russia Year, which will strengthen exchanges between two countries whose cultural relations have always been particularly intense, particularly in the musical and literary fields. These celebrations are a work of collective memory that is a way to weave tirelessly our national cohesion and our social bond, as well as our relations with our European and foreign partners.
We have the resources to do that. The unfreezing of the entire budget of our Ministry, announced a few days ago by the President of the Republic during his vows to the world of Culture, testifies to the very special care that is being given by the Government to Culture and Communication.
I would add that we will achieve this goal of “culture for everyone” all the better because we now have a modernized administrative tool that is more ergonomic and better adapted to the complexity of current developments in globalization. I know the concerns that this change may have aroused among some and I understand them; but I also know that everyone understands the need for it, that it is in central administration, in the decentralized services of our regions, in our public institutions.
On the eve of this new year, I wanted to speak to you to tell you of my determination to continue our commitment to all in favour of the French cultural exception.
This cultural exception is precisely a form of “culture for everyone”, that is, respect for the particularity and diversity not only of culture as such, but of each of the cultures which constitute the inalienable richness of human experience and whose protection, promotion and communication, in all its forms, are our great challenge to all and, of course, to each one.
That’s.... I promised myself that I would only talk to you for a quarter of an hour. But going back to LICHTENBERG, I remember he also said, “It is well known that small quarters of an hour are longer than quarter of an hour”— I hope I didn’t abuse your patience—
Thank you.