Mr Minister, Mr Mayor, dear Emile Zuccarelli,Ladies and Gentlemen Elected,Madam Curator, dear Isabelle Cornetto,

I was unable to honour your invitation during my last visit to
Corsica for agenda constraints, so I’m all the happier
to be with you today, in Bastia. The reopening of the Palace of
Governors and Bastia Museum is the culmination of a long
long-term commitment. I know the commitment that has
been yours, dear Emile Zuccarelli, and that of your team to give to
this heritage place remarkable the influence it deserves. The
contributed its full share by financing this large-scale landscape and cultural
EUR 3.7 million, under the Exceptional Programme
investment (PEI) for Corsica.

The Citadel that dominates Bastia is indeed the expression of the history of the
Corsica, mixing conquests and influences. It is a masterpiece
architectural well known to transit passengers, those arriving
on the island as those who leave it, often to regret. The museum of
Bastia as it is today, is the heir of a great cultural tradition
and scholarly, which has characterized Bastia for centuries; he is the heir
pioneering research initiated in 1898 by the Société des sciences
history and natural of Corsica. It has experienced many bleeding and
many advances during the 20th century, which led to a
and a dispersion of collections. Today, centered on
history of the city, it presents very rich collections testifying to the
exchanges of the city with the Mediterranean, with Genoa of course but
also with Rome, where several generations of painters, sculptors and
of architects have formed.

Its reopening reflects the «beautiful season», the historical renewal that are
museums of Corsica. The museum network of the island is
already tightened as it deserves, to make live and to make see
Corsican history and culture in all its richness and diversity,
the departmental archaeological museums of Aleria and Levi, the
museum of Corsican prehistory and archaeology of Sartène, the museum
departmental Pascal-PAOLI in Morosaglia, the Fesch Museum of Ajaccio, and,
in the same city, the National Museum
Bonaparte. The State has accompanied this profound transformation, including
the archaeological site of Mariana in Lucciana and the museum project in
as part of the “Museum Plan” I presented in the fall
This unique history and culture is a contribution to
the cultural prestige of the nation.

The Citadelle renovation project is also part of, I know, the
an extensive urban renewal programme for Bastia, through the
renewal of the historic district of «Terra Vecchia», but also the
with the support of the National Agency for the
Urban Renewal (ANRU). I also know your attention to valorization
and the teaching of heritage, notably through the creation of a
protection around the citadel and through the attention paid to the label «Ville
In this project, Mr. Mayor, culture, which is a
strong element of attractiveness and social connection, has its place. I measure
the expectations of Corsican elected officials and especially of the city of Bastia – you
Mr. Mayor - regarding the labelling of
cultural establishments. In the field of live entertainment, Corsica
is the only region of the metropolitan territory not yet having
certified structure, including a national stage. The
structures allow, as you know, integration into the national network,
development of joint projects, development of co-productions and
better dissemination of artists. You know you can count on me
to accompany you, as you request, in order to define a project
Bastia Theatre to participate in the network of artistic
national scenes.

Already and in agreement with the President of the Executive Council of Corsica,
Paul Giacobbi, I propose that as part of the Exceptional Program
Investment Facility (EIP), with a credit of €6 million to
create a real cultural complex in the southern districts of Bastia.

Three teams of high-level architects were selected in January
last – David Devaux, Rudy Ricciotti and Jean-Michel
Wilmotte - the winner to be chosen by you in September
next.

Because it is obviously through its culture, just as much as through its landscapes that
Corsica shines in the Mediterranean, Europe and the world. Its
its ability to preserve and share its unique attractiveness
traditions, at the antipodes of the tourist drifts that have known
other territories of this same Mediterranean area. And it is
precisely this preserved originality that makes the island all the more
mysterious and therefore attractive.

Today, refocused on the history of the city, endowed with a new
original museum offering the keys to understand the abundant
Bastian artistic heritage, it presents very rich collections
testifying to the exchanges of the city with the Mediterranean, with Genoa
of course but also with Rome and its baroque curves and volutes,
the image of this Roman surgeon of Bastian origin, Dr Sisco (1748-
1829), a true patron who had enabled the formation of several
generations of painters, sculptors and architects in the Eternal City.

Jean-Mathieu Pekle, who the exhibition qualifies in his originality and
its singularity as a «sculptor of Corsica», is one of those and
benefited from the Sisco legacy in 1889. Tireless animator of local life,
active promoter of the island arts, he was the only sculptor of the island
years and benefited from numerous public commissions. If he knew
report on the history of Corsica as of its actuality, if it
presented several works within the Corsican Pavilion on the occasion of
the 1937 International Exhibition, he was a sculptor in dialogue with the
world, he trained with Parisian workshops, he presented his work to
many times at the Salon des artistes français. Because it is not
regionalism, it is a living identity only built in networks, by a
process, by multiple and varied borrowings. This
important retrospective devoted to a work placed at the heart of the
artistic construction of an island identity fully reveals it.

As you can see, I hope that a constant dialogue will continue between my
cultural life of Corsica and the elected representatives of the island. I wish a
renewed collaboration between Corsica and the ministry for which I am responsible,
in the highly decentralized institutional framework of cultural policy
that the island has known since 2002. It is obviously above all a
proposal that only needs to be discussed and enriched with elected officials and
with professionals. This is also my vision of the role of
my ministry, a ministry able to take into account wealth,
know-how, but also local expertise, as closely as possible to the challenges
each of the territories that make up our heritage. They are
in the promotion of cultural diversity, which is the
today in Brussels, before the European authorities, but
also in the world.