Dear Minister Daniel Krajcer,Excellencies,Dear Director Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye,Dear Chief Executive Officer, Dear Thomas Grenon,Dear Conservatives, Dear Dušan Buran, Dear Xavier Dectot,Dear Jean-Christophe Ton-That,Dear Friend(e),

It is a great pleasure for me to be with you this evening to inaugurate
this magnificent exhibition, and this in two ways. This is the first opportunity
to salute the exceptional work of the teams who lead this unique place
that is the Hotel de Cluny; it is also the time to paint a picture of the
cultural cooperation between our two countries.
the Parisian residence of the abbots, contemporary of the works exhibited,
offer us today a particularly suitable setting to discover
the treasures of a Slovakia which, at the end of the 15th century, was one of the
main art centres in Europe.
This makes the National Museum of the Middle Ages an unquestionable reference,
is of course the quality of its collections. But it is also its
international radiation, that this exhibition comes admirably
illustrate. I launched last week the Museums Plan: the Cluny Museum
is naturally registered, and will thus benefit from
to make it even more accessible.
As announced by the President of the Republic, this museum will be
one of the pillars of the Maison de l'Histoire de France. I will be attentive
within this project, its scientific autonomy and
its ability to develop and enhance cultural
the history of medieval art.
Fourteen years after the cultural season «Slovak presences» in
France, the exhibition D'Or et de feu is the first large
heritage retrospective dedicated in France to Slovakia, to which
President Sarkozy and President Gašparovič insisted on bringing their
high patronage.
D'Or et de feu is the result of a close collaboration over several years,
between the Meeting of National Museums, the National Museum of the Middle Ages,
and the Slovak National Gallery. It is also the product of the collaboration
all museums that have lent these works, including,
for the first time, Slovak religious buildings that have accepted
an exceptional opportunity to make the treasures they contain known outside.
Slovakia is indeed fortunate to benefit from conservation
exceptional of its sacred heritage, which has remained far from the great
massive restoration programs that other territories have been able to
the 19th and 20th centuries. As such, we can only welcome the
exemplary prudence of the restoration policy conducted today by
Slovak cultural institutions. They have been able to combine the requirements
preservation and contextualization of works.
In counterpoint of the exhibition of the National Galleries of the Grand Palais
France 1500, visitors to the Cluny Museum will have an opportunity
in the coming weeks, to discover a whole section of our
common artistic heritage. Because under the gold and red polychromies, under
the patina of the altarpieces is also the European dimension of our codes
aesthetic that shines through. Dürer and Schongauer are never far away, the
Italian masters no more. Crossed by these influences, the works of
local masters of Upper Hungary come to illustrate wonderfully
this circulation of iconographic models in the service of an identity
shared cultural.
I would like to pay tribute to the active commitment of the cultural authorities
in support of the European Heritage Label, which aims to
the European dimension of our cultural heritage. This initiative
of which France was at the origin, is about to
become a Community facility: among the 65 European sites
listed, four sites have already been certified as such in
Slovakia: St Margaret’s Church in Kopčany, St George’s Church in
Kostol'any, the castle of Červený Kameň, the tomb of General Milan
Ratislav Štefánik in Bradlo. Four are also in France: the abbey
of Cluny, the house of Robert Schuman in Moselle, the Palace of the Popes in
Avignon, and for a few months, the city of Troyes. We share
therefore a common commitment to a Europe of culture.
Cultural cooperation between France and the Slovak Republic
today a real development. It would probably have pleased Milan
Štefánik, astronomer, pilot but also talented diplomat, member
founder of the «Czech-Slovak National Council» in the crash of the
Great War, patron figure of the Franco-Slovak friendship, to whom he was
last year on the 90th anniversary of his death.
For example, this dynamic is noticeable in acquisitions
by the National Fund for Contemporary Art (FNAC) and the
of Alsace, Lorraine and Limousin, contemporary works
signed by Július Koller, Roman Ondák, Stano Filko and
Rudolf Fila.
Our cultural cooperation is also based on the action of the network
with the French Institute in Bratislava and 5
Alliances Françaises. The success of the
the involvement of the French Institute in the creation of the festival «les jardins
Bratislava’s musical initiatives” are part of the initiatives that illustrate the quality and
the dynamism of our relationship. I am particularly pleased that
France is now the second destination for Slovak students
under the Erasmus programme.
Among the cooperation topics discussed this afternoon with my
counterpart, we also mentioned two requests for expertise
one on the functioning of public television, the other on
Building Heritage Management. Dear Daniel Krajcer, I wanted to talk to you tonight
ensure my full support and commitment to the services of my
Department to meet your expectations.
Finally, I would like to tell you about 2013. In less than three years, Košice and
As you know, Marseille will be the European Capitals of Culture. It
is a great opportunity to strengthen cooperation between
our two countries, both in terms of cultural institutions and
local authorities.
Phocae and Massilia on one side; Cassovia, Kaschau or Kassa on the other:
two cities with a plural identity, marked by a complex history where
languages, faiths and communities have constantly been reworked
the notion of cultural boundaries. It is in this logic that many
projects are being developed, with the aim of
Common theme: Frontier Cities.
I know how familiar you are with cooperation policies
within the Union, for which Slovakia has a
obvious geographical and economic vocation. I also know
your strong commitment to the issues of neighbourhood policy
Union, particularly with Ukraine. I believe we share this
commitment, through the reciprocal commitments of our
governments to promote the Eastern Partnership and the
Mediterranean. This is undoubtedly one of the strongest points of our
convergence. To cross cultural initiatives between the city
Phocaean and the birthplace of Sándor Márai, it is also showing that the
neighbourhood policies are, beyond our geographical affinities
The European Parliament, the Council and the European Parliament have been working together on this.
A detailed project between Marseille and Košice, with orders
will be presented by the end of October. I want you to
confirm today that my Ministry will be heavily involved in these
If we have the opportunity today to discuss this joint perspective
in this magnificent chamber, thanks to the remarkable work of the
Meeting of the National Museums, the National Museum of the Middle Ages and the
Slovak National Gallery, which I would like to thank once again
warmly. I would also like to welcome the involvement of the partners
of the exhibition, including GRTGaz, as well as the media that
associate with the event to give it a greater influence.
Thank you.