Mr Prime Minister (Pierre MAUROY)Madam President of the Urban Community (Martine AUBRY)Mr Mayor (Gérard CAUDRON)Mr President of the Regional Council (Daniel PERCHERON)Mr President of the General Council (Bernard DEROSIER)Elected Ladies and Gentlemen,Mrs Regional Director of Cultural Affairs (V. CHATENAY-DOLTO)Mrs Director (Sophie LEVY)Ladies and Gentlemen,

The reopening of a museum is always a rare moment, a privileged moment. This
Feeling is rooted in the very invention of the museum idea, at the
Revolution, around men like Living Denon and Alexandre Lenoir. A
Villeneuve d'Ascq, in this new town with its carefully designed architecture
forward-looking, at a time when public art collections
modern and contemporary were hardly represented in the Region
Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Roland Simounet has designed at a fascinating place. A place
with a certain Mediterranean writing, a place also anchored in
the inspiration of the countries of the North, to house the prestigious donation made by
Geneviève and Jean Masurel in 1979.
Respect for places, respect for people… These principles, inherited from Le Corbusier,
always guided the achievements of this great architect born near Algiers who,
after studying at the School of Fine Arts in Paris, returned to Algeria in 1952
to study popular habitat and applied his research to sets of
housing. Back in Paris, important cultural programs earned him a
international recognition. Three museums confirm that light and space
are his favourite sites: the Prehistory Museum in Nemours, the
Picasso and this museum of modern art of Villeneuve-d'Ascq inaugurated in 1983,
thought of as the harmonious alloy of a collection, an architecture and a park
Roland Simounet did an admirable job here, defining the
ambitions and the stakes with these few words “… clear geometry, spaces that
link and call other spaces, all in favor of the works.”
Restructured and enlarged, it is to this challenge that responds masterfully today,
after four years of work, the LaM, the museum of modern art, art
of Lille Métropole. The latter offers access to a
prestigious collection of modern art, a collection of contemporary art
reference and a collection of raw art unparalleled in France.
The museum’s new identity, the LaM, owes much to its unfailing support
that Lille Métropole Communauté Urbaine brings to the establishment since
twenty-five years. The Urban Community of Lille develops, dear Martine
AUBRY, a particularly dynamic and innovative cultural policy,
taking advantage of the great showcase that was Lille 2004 Capitale
European Union, but also with the ambition to prepare what
will be the contours of the metropolis in the year 3000. Rich in museums of
international reference and strong of major institutions, such as
the Orchestre National de Lille and the Opéra, it also encourages
new forms of creation through the network of cultural factories and
all the «Folie» houses, which in their own way form new
houses of culture. It also has many places
among which stand out the station Saint Sauveur, the Tripostal
which will soon host the Foundation’s «Silk Road»
Saatchi, and a multitude of places animated by collectives, artists and
creators of all kinds.
I welcome the State’s support for this major project in the region, which we
today. The State has been supporting the Northern Region for years
No Calais in all cultural fields, especially in the
Conservation and Development of 20th Century Heritage and
industrial heritage, very present on the territory.
The French Government tabled on 25 January
Northern Mining Basin and Northern Flood Registry Application Package
Calais on the World Heritage List. The mining heritage is indeed
witness to the work and activity of these women and men
which have contributed to the industrialization of our country and to the
modernity. I welcome this exceptional candidacy by its
content and breadth. I know it is carried with passion and
demand by the entire regional population. It seems essential to
dedicate this memory, that of the work and the mine, which marked
which has shaped the landscapes of the North. Today,
preserved, this industrial heritage rich in lessons about the history of
on the history of architecture and housing, but also on the
relations between man and his environment.
The Nord Pas de Calais Region is also the first to have signed a
agreement with the State for the renovation of a large number of
museums. These are part of a particularly rich and
It is a policy of spatial planning all the more
of the region and concerns establishments
very different in size and thematic of their collections. In this
facilities have already been renovated, including the
Fine Arts Museums of Cambrai, Valenciennes and the Palais des
Lille Fine Arts, the Lewarde Mining Centre, the
the Douai Charterhouse, the Matisse Museum of Cateau-Cambrésis, the hotel
Sandelin de Saint-Omer. Others were created: the Roubaix Swimming Pool, the
International City of Lace and Fashion of Calais. Among the projects
of course, there is the construction of the Louvre Lens, and we
will inaugurate next month the renovation of one of the flagship
16th century Flemish civil architecture, the Hotel de la Noble-Cour
housing the departmental museum of Flanders in Cassel and the extension of the
Fine Arts Museum of Tourcoing- Eugène Leroy. I also know that the
renovation of the Lille Natural History Museum is a
study; it is a project with very high potential.
I announced on September 9 the implementation of a plan for the
regions. Through a selection of 79 museums, spread over the whole
regions of France, I wanted to highlight remarkable
projects of creation, renovation, extension of museums in order to better
the artistic wealth of our territory. With this plan, I
wishes to reaffirm the major role of museums in the
cultural and economic development of the territories.
The Museums of France are strong points of support for our policy
for the attractiveness of our country, as I was able to
see in the «tour de France» of the museums I have undertaken since
more than a year. Recent successes, such as the magnificent Fesch Museum
Ajaccio that I had the pleasure of discovering this summer, so did the
demonstration of the attractiveness of museums when they benefit from a
sufficient investment effort and active management. Other projects
I have no doubt that they will meet with great success,
as the Lalique Museum in Wingen-sur-Moder, Alsace, which relies on
on a project of revitalization of the territory but also on the stimulating project
by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
With this plan, I am making this commitment for museums in the regions a
strong priority of my ministry, which will mobilize nearly 70 million euros
on the 2011-2013 finance bill.
With this plan, the State reaffirms its desire to strengthen the rebalancing
within the framework of a “new deal” and a renewed dialogue
local authorities. Because it is also a way of recognizing
investment and engagement of local and regional authorities, which are the
leading players in the regions, and to give the greatest visibility to
projects they support.
In the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, the museums plan will cover four
institutions. The renovation project of the Museum of Fine Arts of Arras,
installed in a Benedictine abbey built during the second part
will constitute one of the major axes of a project of pole
cultural integrating museum, media library, conservatory, associations
cultural and heritage. In Roubaix, the extension of the
Industrial - The Swimming Pool will host the Henri workshop-museum
Bouchard, and reconstruct in situ the sculptor’s workshop. The realization of a
additional level at the Tourcoing Fine Arts Museum will allow
to house the important donation of the sons of the artist Eugene Leroy, native
of the region. Finally, the construction of a new building near
the workshop will allow the museum of Sars Potteries, currently installed in
a house too small, to meet the new requirements of
Presentation of collections and reception of the public.
Many of these exemplary projects illustrate shared ambition
for our museums. I believe that the extension of the
this museum of contemporary art, modern art and raw art that we have the
The joy of opening today is one of the most striking symbols.
The impressive collection of raw art of L'Aracine
Lille urban community in 1999 is at the heart of this project
extension of the museum. By entrusting it to the agency Manuel GAUTRAND, the
Community made the choice of continuity and boldness. The architect has
signed a personal project that presents an architecture with flexible forms
which is fully in line with the work of his
predecessor, Roland Simounet, registered since 2000 in the Inventory
additional historical monuments.
Architect of the stunning Citroën façade on the Champs
Elysées, from the new Cité des affaires de Saint-Etienne
colored cubes of yellow and black concrete, from the restructuring of the Gaîté
which should be inaugurated by December, Manuel GAUTRAND
is one of those architects, whom the difficulty does not discourage.
I would like to commend the architectural quality of this project, which embraces
the north and east facades of the historic building. Without imposing itself, it
in the shape of fingers, open roots on the park. It respects
the spirit and memory of the place, establishing a dialogue of great
subtlety with the landscape. The two so different constructions end up
meet in the multiple resonance points borrowed by
Manual GAUTRAND at his eldest building.
I would also like to salute the beautiful scenography designed by Renaud
PIERARD and the redevelopment of the park entrusted to the architectural agency
landscapers AWP, designed as an open-air museum and further enriched,
a beautiful set of sculptures by Eugene DODEIGNE. The
links between the works of the park and those of the crests will be revealed
even at night, when the interior lighting of the museum
will function as a lantern. In my eyes, it is no invention of the
museum in the 21st century without strong architectural gesture: many
examples in France and around the world, as the
Pompidou-Metz or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
With an exhibition area of more than 4000 m2, the LaM is now
the first museum to simultaneously present modern art collections,
with the prestigious donation of Jean and Geneviève Masurel, whose
very warmly the heirs who make us happy to be among us
collections of contemporary art, thanks to a remarkable
acquisition policy supplemented by a transfer of ownership of the FNAC in
2007 of thirty-five works including La cabane éclatée aux trois peaux de
Daniel Buren. Finally the largest French collection of raw art from the
donation of the association L'Aracine, of which I greet the President Bernard
CHEROT. Bernard CHEROT succeeded Madeleine LOMMEL who
left in April 2009 and which had constituted this fabulous collection with
two other passionate amateurs, Michel NEDJAR and Claire TELLIER.
The simultaneous presentation of these collections allows an approach
of the 20th and 21st centuries. It changes our reading of
the history of art, especially in the context of major exhibitions
that will be proposed. Designed as a walk, as
a constellation bringing together the different spaces of the museum, the exhibition
inaugural Poetically inhabit the world, opens this new age of the museum
highlighting the links between raw art and art
I congratulate Savine FAUPIN, Chief Curator in charge of
from art brut to LaM, Christophe BOULANGER, conservation attaché at
LaM and François PIRON, art critic, who ensured the
this demonstration.
With the Dominique BOZO library, with more than 40,000 books
recently increased by a large fund bequeathed by Maurice JARDOT, and
its research centre, complete with an auditorium and a
restoration, the LaM is also a place of study, training, and
meetings. LAM is a testament to the vitality and creativity of our
museums, both urban projects, tourist hubs, places of
knowledge and source of wonder. Today they are places
living, innovative, stimulating; they are also real laboratories
open to new cultural practices.
The success of this achievement we owe it to the will and
the financial commitment of Lille Metropole Urban Community and the
support from the Department of the North to which were added funds
In particular, I salute the work of the municipal teams
the Urban Community of Lille, who have carried out this project
with constancy, especially its two successive presidents,
Pierre MAUROY and Martine AUBRY.
It is also the result of the closely coordinated efforts of the
museum, Jean-Michel STIEVENARD and, since 2008, Olivier HENNO, without
Naturally forget Joëlle PIJAUDIER-CABOT who directed the museum
for many years and to carry the scientific project of this
with the entire conservation team, including Savine FAUPIN
and Nicolas SURLAPIERRE.
I would also like to congratulate Olivier DONAT, Deputy Head of the
LaM, which effectively, together with the entire conservation team,
the interim management of the museum after the departure of Joëlle PIJAUDIERCABOT,
that allowed the museum to remain active during this period
works, with exhibitions such as «Ghosts and Angels»,
2007 at the Musée des Arts contemporains du Grand-Hornu and «Hypnos»
in 2009 at the Hospice Countess museum as part of Lille 3000.
Congratulations to Sophie LÉVY directriceconservatrice
of the LaM, which took over in July 2009.
invested with passion and tenacity so that this human adventure and
artistic achievement.
The State committed itself from the outset to this programme by providing its
financial support but also the competence of its services:
the Directorate-General for Heritage and, in particular, the
museums of France, but also, dear Véronique CHATENAY-DOLTO,
those of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DRAC) who have
always been present and attentive.
Museum of collections, but also museum of collectors, open to
many audiences, the LaM will be driven by its relations with
many public and private partners such as universities, universities,
schools, cultural institutions and businesses. It will be brought
The European Commission will be able to contribute to the
with Belgium. I would like to welcome on this occasion my
Melchior WATHELET, Belgian Federal Minister, as well as the
and the directors of Belgian cultural institutions that are today
I wish a great success for this museum which offers
today the possibility of a reflection on the genesis of the work of art and
on the plurality of forms of expression of the living art, from the works
the most speculative up to the most spontaneous creations.
With the LaM, each visitor can access heritage and creation
in a permanent and stimulating dialogue. By creating a
dialogue between raw and contemporary art, taking paths that
borrow as much from the rhyzome of Gilles Deleuze as from the correspondence
According to Baudelaire, the LaM returns to the very source of creation.
He participates in my idea of the museum for the 21st century, a place often
a place of pleasure and discovery, a place accessible to everyone. A
a place that should not be this “distant country” reserved for a few but
this «familiar universe». Because «it is in the sight of masterpieces that we feel
born for great things and tried to live in posterity”, and
recalls François-Marie Puthod, Member of the National Assembly for the Constituent Assembly
1790 and member of the Monuments Commission.
Thank you.