Mr Minister, Patrick Devedjian,Mr Deputy Mayor, Mr Pierre-Christophe Baguet,Ladies and Gentlemen Parliamentarians,Ladies and Gentlemen Elected,Mr Prefect,Ladies and Gentlemen Presidents, Directors General and Patrons,Mr Director, Frédéric Chappey, Director of the Muséesmunicipaux,Dear Jean-Paul Belmondo,Ladies and Gentlemen,

The opening of a new museum is always a rare moment, a moment
This feeling is rooted in the very invention of the idea
museum, to the Revolution, around men like Living Denon and
Alexandre Lenoir. I am convinced that the 21st century will be a
“Century of Museums”. Major international projects have attracted attention
media, but other projects, more discreet but equally demanding,
are born in the Ile de France region. This is the case of this attractive museum
dedicated to the work of sculptor Paul Belmondo, carried by the City of
Boulogne-Billancourt with the support of the Conseil général des Hauts-de-Seine,
Regional Council of Ile de France and corporate sponsors. It is registered
fully committed to a rich and diversified cultural offering on a global scale
of Greater Paris. It is also the translation of the rediscovery and
reappropriation by Boulogne-Billancourt of its rich heritage of the years
30, including the buildings built by Tony Garnier, Auguste Perret, Le
Corbusier or Jean Prouvé. Boulogne-Billancourt was a laboratory
a place of artistic residence. Its heritage
has been recognized by the Ministry of
Culture and Communication in 2004 with the award of the City label
art and history. Municipal achievement, I have no doubt that this
will benefit from an international reputation, benefiting from the
label «Musée de France», translation of the scientific and cultural requirement
who fed the project.
I also know what this museum rich in sculptures, but also molds,
drawings and sketches owes to the will and commitment of Paul’s children
Belmondo – Murielle, Alain and of course Jean-Paul – who donated to the city of
Boulogne-Billancourt of all his work. I wanted to give them back
it is true that the dialogue between donors and public authorities
must be pursued with constancy, listening and serenity. Ossip Zadkine has
said: The language of sculpture is a pretentious nothingness if it is not
composed of words of love and poetry”. All the work of the child of Algiers,
example of meritocracy, says this sensitivity to human and elegance
This project was also nourished by the «spirit of the place»: the Beuchillot castle,
acquired by the city of Boulogne-Billancourt in 1982, is indeed a showcase
the sculptor’s work. He is the
is based on three pillars of the museum policy, which I mentioned earlier.
a few days in the presentation of the «Museums Plan»: the gesture
development of accessibility for everyone, but also
community support and patronage. I want to commend the support
of the Paris Airports Foundation (ADP). The latter
the installation of a 7-cast touchscreen gallery for the disabled
to all audiences to understand the technique of the
sculpture, and installation of Braille cartels for the interpretation of works.
It allows to enter the work of one of the masters of figurative sculpture,
trained in the workshop of Jean Boucher, a disciple of Charles Despiau, of whom he was
also the friend. Paul Belmondo was also recognized and solicited for important
public contracts, notably for the Palais de Chaillot, the
Cheminots de Nanterre but also the Paris Opera, where he made a copy
admirable of the dance of Carpeaux. Lover of drawing and matter,
Paul Belmondo was also a demanding «smuggler» in the transmission of
knowledge: at the School of Fine Arts in Algiers, then at the School of Paris from
1956 finally at the Institut de France. The museum dedicates the career of a sculptor
who was a demanding portraitist and an insatiable seeker of monumentality.
Complete artist, endowed with a technique without flaws, he also realized
medals and illustrations for art books, especially those of
Courteline. This place pays tribute to his «serene sculpture», to resume
the title of the retrospective exhibition that was organized between 1997 and 2000, in
the initiative of my Ministry.
It complements the coherent museum offer of the city of Boulogne-
Billancourt, in this «valley of culture» of which the Seine is the thread
conductor and creation of the twentieth century cement..
With this inauguration, the long list of museums dedicated to a sculptor
'Rodin, Bourdelle, Brancusi, Zadkine - is enriched by a new name,
network, which I have no doubt will attract the
Franciliens but also international visitors. The 150th anniversary of the
birth of Bourdelle and Maillol in 2011, included in the Celebrations
could give cause for reflection on these houses of
“great men” of a particular type. They allow you to meet a
artistic work and often the place of its creation – here the workshop of the avenue
Denfert-Rochereau reconstituted. Indeed, to perpetuate the memory of
is no longer a tribute to what exists”: what is before our eyes
today, it is elegance, visual strength and the monumental sense of the work
of Paul Belmondo.
Thank you.