Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the ceremony of the remisedes insignes of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters in Yves Jaigu, Jean-Michel Meurice, Christian de Pange, and Officierdans the Order of the Legion of Honor to Antoine Bourseiller

Dear Antoine Bourseiller,

Theatre is someone. It is a voice that speaks, it is a spirit that
enlightens, it is a conscience that warns.” Victor Hugo’s words take
with men of theatre like you who, like
Jean Vilar, invest the theatre with an educational function and
democracy. In your opinion, theatre is the best way to express
to shake off the apathy of the public and make it react in daily life,
you thus consider that Security kills the creator. If one does not have the
courage to give it up, we freeze. To not die we must recover everything
only one in question.”

You dedicate your career to both drama and opera, which
allows you to enrich the lyrical language of your reflection
and the function of the production. You
are also a key player in cultural decentralization, and
Nancy, Marseille, Orléans have renewed their repertoire and the
quality of their productions under your prestigious direction.

When you disembark from Morocco in 1948, Jean-Louis Barrault reigns
then on the world of the theatre. Student of Dullin and appearing in the NWT, you
are a privileged witness to the birth of talents such as
of Gérard Philipe or Maria Casarès, talents you will later
a formidable discoverer. You happen to meet Armand Salacrou
which gives you the role of Laurent in Le Miroir. I will quote these words
by Armand Salacrou: What is even more extraordinary is that I have
written before knowing it, a story that is very close to his
that of an inspired young man, fanatical lover of the theatre, who
anime of young actors. The main character Laurent is dedicated
in the theatre to converse. He disguises himself to go among the people.”

Very early on, you move towards directing. Alongside your
wife, the late Chantal Darget, you lead a theatrical adventure
This is mainly marked by contemporary and
covers of poorly represented classical works, such as Rodogune de
Corneille or La Mort d'Agrippine by Cyrano de Bergerac.

You devote yourselves in fact to the rediscovery of the texts fallen in
forgetting, as evidenced by your courageous and
the Marianne de Tristant L'Hermitte at the Théâtre du Tertre,
author considered as the forerunner of Claudel. In 1960, you
present a play by Nikos Kazantzakis, Mélissa, at the
Alliance Française, with which you win the First Prize at the
young companies competition. This is the beginning of your
Studio of the Champs Elysées in Paris, where the shadows of Dullin and
Jouvet, and which was a research laboratory for new ways

The quality and strength of your productions are very noticeable, when
you question the Algerian War in 1963 with Les Parachutistes de
Jean Cau, or when in 1965, Jean-Louis Barrault entrusted you with the
staging an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s famous story,
America. In 1966, you are called to lead the Dramatic Center
where, like Jean Vilar, you prefer the pieces
heroic. If your Dom Juan disturbs both Paris and New York, it’s
that provocation and the unexpected are for you an aesthetic bias

You put your talent at the service of both decentralization and
contemporary writings. In 1967, Jean Vilar invited you to the festival
Avignon to create a new exceptional place, the cloister of the Carmelites.
You have contributed enormously to making the coins known in France
de Brecht, Ionesco, Leroy Jones (with his famous Phantom Metro),
Mrozek and Jean Genet. The battles for freedom of expression do you
are no strangers, you who agree to lend Michel Foucault the room
of the Théâtre Récamier, whose director from 1975 to 1977, for
an evening in honor of Soviet freedom and dissidents.

One of your great innovations was organizing parties
“contemporary writing” where every Monday the public discovered
Raymond Roussel, Aragon, Denis Roche, Jacques Derrida, Francis
Ponge, and Michel Falempin. You open the 1975/76 season with Le
Balcony of Genet, author you had met in 1969
share the vision of a provocative theatre. Of it, you say: The
theatre ceremony is pushed to such a climax, it leads the theater
so far away that it becomes the negation
even of the theatre." You are the one who directed the first interview with Jean
Genet in 1982.

From 1982 to 1986, you conducted the Opéra de Lorraine in Nancy, where your
innovations have marked the memories. You successfully assign the
to revisit the masterpieces of the lyric repertoire as
Carmen de Bizet, Verdi’s La Traviata or Berg’s Wozzeck. On
still remembers your October Cantata of Prokofiev, or
Erwartung de Schönberg, where the choir is performed. Among all these
experimentations you also try to daring genres,
like the baroque opera pastiche with Donna Abbandonata.

You also directed the Soirées d'Eté de Gordes from 1994 to 2000,
a beautiful general festival in which your design is reflected
open and open-plan performing arts. You anchor in the South
of France strengthens when in 2002 you become artistic advisor
and director in residence at the Tarascon Theatre. Your need
leads you to create an independent company that display
its performances in venues that favour innovative productions,
detonating and lit, like the Lucernary or the Mouffetard theatre.

Dear Antoine Bourseiller, in tribute to your commitment
proof throughout your career in favour of a creative theatre, in
tribute to your deep explorations of both the repertoire and the authors
or contemporary texts, because your name occupies a
major place in the history of theatre in France, dear Antoine
Bourseiller, on behalf of the President of the Republic and under the powers
which we are conferred, we make you Officer of the Legion of Honor.

Dear Yves Jaigu,

«Culture is not a luxury, it is a necessity»: this adage of Gao
Xingjian, the author of The Mountain of the Soul, could be yours. Against
the prevailing winds of excessive marketing, you have
defended in the French audiovisual landscape a conception of culture
in which the opposition between hermetic elitism and entertainment
Vulgar had no place – “culture (…), which made man
something other than an accident of the universe,” said Malraux.

If I refer to Malraux, who has marked these places so much, it is also because
that you have experienced the enthusiasm of these years of Gaulle, in you
investing in the Marcoule and nuclear adventure, by participating
also to the great spatial planning plans at the time of
the DATAR. This desire of the depths is undoubtedly both the massifs
Hercynians of Brittany and your training as a philosopher and
mineralogist who created it in you.

When in 1967 you take the turn of audiovisual by becoming
in charge of co-productions at the ORTF, you start a superb
career that opens the doors of the management of the
first chain with Jacqueline Baudrier in 1972, then
management of France-Culture from 1975 to 1984, and finally of the programmes
of France 3 and ARTE.

Against the omnipotence of the audience and the enslavement to logic
you become a practitioner of freedom. You offer to
listeners and viewers the intellectual rigour of programs
which spread in the social body the beauty and power of the
thought and dialogue. Indeed, we owe you radio moments
and unforgettable television: I am thinking for example of the
Cordoba on «Science and Consciousness», when you were director of
France Culture, in 1979; or at the diffusion on France 3 du Soulier
Claudel’s satin directed by Antoine Vitez
and without interruption. Perhaps you had in mind then this Odyssey
that you co-produced with the RAI in 1967. With Yves
Jaigu, radio and television give time to time.
The time to broadcast on our screens the wonderful recreation of Atys de
Lully by William Christie and Jean-Marie Villégier, which will also be taken over
very soon at the Opéra Comique, or Rossini’s Le Voyage à Reims.
The time to create in January 1987 with Pierre-André Boutang,
Oceans which, against the current of the prevailing wind, offered
question science, philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, three times
weekly, on FR3. Again, these are unforgettable moments of
television that you knew how to create - we still remember the meeting
between George Steiner and Pierre Boutang on Antigone and sacrifice
of Abraham. For you, for the viewers, the ideas become the
minerals whose alloys you try.

It was this same spirit that had guided your nine
years at the head of France Culture, whose
by making available to the listeners a material
complex, without concession to the desires of
facility. Later, at the head of the FR3 programs and the beginnings of ARTE,
you are the one for whom there is nothing irreconcilable to program at the same time
Question for a champion with Oceans, the lives of Pascal and
Descartes and the death of Socrates.

Because you are, dear Yves Jaigu, one of the great paladins of the
quality and public service of the audiovisual, on behalf of the Republic
French, we make you Commander in the order of Arts and

Dear Jean-Michel Meurice,

All the problems facing filmmakers have been one day or another
by painters.» Peter Greenaway, artist of images,
artist, raises one of the main research themes of your work,
an artistic questioning of the link between cinema and painting.
After studying at the School of Fine Arts of Tournai and a youth
already marked by a double passion for painting – you admire
among others Le Tintoret and Matisse – and for the cinema – you watch a
film every day – in 1960, during your military service in Algeria,
you carry out one of your first works, which brings together these two passions.
It is indeed a film film painted with repetitive traces of fingers
and brush, forming, if projected, a moving paint of ten
minutes. This work carries within it the characteristic features of the work
rich that you will then create: a cross between arts and issues
aesthetic, exploration of repetitive forms on large formats,
preservation of life and movement in formal reproduction, play
on the exhibition space of the works.

Dear Jean-Michel Meurice, your multiple career is first and foremost a career
artist. In the early 1960s, you demonstrated the
willingness to participate in the dynamics of the artistic world by founding the
Supports/Surfaces movement. This movement is one of the
key moments of contemporary art in France, as well in painting
that in sculpture. Around you, important artists, like Claude
Viallat, Daniel Dezeuze, Louis Cane, and uses techniques that we
found in your work. Free spirit, independent, you always have
refused to join the Supports/Surfaces group, or any other group
that it was by the way. Indeed, you could
Robert Mallet: Art is a studious journey towards a
Your work, these are two major periods. During the first,
inspired by your first trip to the United States in 1963,
influenced by Pollock’s gesture, you develop your research on
repetitive forms of bands and points and on the chromatic play. This is
the time of the four Penelopes, which unfold in a context
unique architecture. At home, the work takes over the place, the art blends
in space. This of course evokes your connection to the arts
decorative, which strongly mark your second period of creation.
1973 is the year when you are fully recognized: your works are exhibited,
you buy them, you order them, especially on a
personal exhibition at the Centre national d'art contemporain in Paris.
With a trip to Japan in 1982, begins a second period,
marked by the use of stencils of plant forms whose appearance
in negative animates the surface of your works in as many signs that are
Dufy or Matisse. Your sources of inspiration are the
plant and ornamental motifs that you photograph through the

Because you are also a photographer, dear Jean-Michel Meurice, and your
“sketch-photographs” feed the other side of your work
plastic, which uses the figures and motifs. Thus, they are
photographs of Samarkand that inspire you the drawing of the
ceramics ordered for the floors of the living rooms
boarding of Roissy in 2001. Your trips are thus a form of
Imaginary museum that feeds your creation.

Dear Jean-Michel Meurice, your eye is also that of the filmmaker and the
documentary filmmaker. You have made 13 short films about art, including
portraits of major artists such as Simon Hantaï Pierre Soulages en
1979 or Bram Van Velde in 1980 – the one that my
predecessor Michel Guy to whom I recently paid tribute. It is
also the portrait of one of the masters of the Annals school, author of
the unforgettable Sunday of Bouvines, Georges Duby in 1997. This is how
150 documentaries of which you are also author, director and producer,
including several investigative documentaries on
political and social news, which earned you two nominations to the Golden 7.
Your work is crowned by the Grand Prix national de la création
in 1992 and the SCAM Grand Prix in 2010. The
documentary is an eminently artistic form: it is made of
patient research, careful identification, narrative constructions.
You excelled in visual arts and light.

In parallel with this creative activity you are conducting an important
career in television. Head of the Programme Unit
documentaries on Antenne 2 from 1981 to 1984, co-founder of the Sept, la
future Arte, whose programs you run from 1986 to 1988, you are,
since 1992, member of the Arte Programme Advisory Committee. You
know the importance I attach to the role of prod and discoverer of
talents of this great European project. The evocation of your career at the
TV brings me to emphasize your commitment to freedom and
protection of the integrity of artistic creation in France. You
part of the intellectuals who signed, on January 10, 2000, an appeal for
preserve the independence of the Arte chain, and your
signed a petition in May 2007, by which about 100
of artists urged the Ministry of Culture and Communication to
conduct a better policy to support creation in the arts

Dear Jean-Michel Meurice, in addition to being a recognized artist you are, we
will have understood, a man of commitment and combat. This requirement I
make it mine in the fight to guarantee creation and copyright to
the digital age.

That is why, dear Jean-Michel Meurice, on behalf of the Republic
French, we make you Commander in the order of Arts and

Dear Christian of Pange,

You are an honest man of the 21st century, this moral of
the honesty» that Montaigne and after him Boileau liked to recall and who
is to humanism what the rights of man and the citizen are to our
contemporary democracies. You are a great collector of books
and belong to the «Société des bibliophiles françois», you are
also a lover of contemporary art and love to go in search of
new artists. Your career has also led you to music and
lyrical art. I finally note that you know how to appreciate good food and
good wine. In the jovial spirit that characterizes you, you have founded the
red brigades. But as you know, the gourmet meal
is now inscribed on the Intangible Heritage of Humanity!

Dear Christian de Pange, you are indeed one of those people who
actively involved in the role of corporate philanthropy and large corporations in
culture, by forging exemplary partnerships. Your
career in this field begins in 1983, after your law studies,
Louis Vuitton Group, whose management of the
as head of internal information and
public relations. In this position, you collaborate in the development and
major public relations operations of this major
brand of French luxury and organize internal communication.

You are the one who invents bridges, the one who makes paths,
the one that brings to light and music the one-night event. You know
how dear the issue of patronage is to me. Its development is, in my eyes,
an essential dimension of cultural action and its development
considerable leverage to promote our ambitions in terms of
new audiences and cultural democratization.

From 1986 to 1990, you were responsible for sponsorship as a delegate
general of the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Opera, Music and Arts,
dedicated to contemporary music. You develop a
some idea of luxury at the service of culture, this ephemeral that earns its
timeless braids, this essential accessory, this
modernity that embraces tradition.

This foundation then placed important orders: no less than 50
and 15 operas, including Pascal Dusapin’s Romeo and Juliet,
created in 1989. Attentive to transmission and training, it supports
also the musicians through the organization of seminars and Master
class in France and abroad. She works for the reconstruction of a
quartet Stradivarius, and finances a third of the budget for the renovation of the
Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris, this precious place where sleep
rare scores and musical treasures. In this, your activity joins the intuition
of Borges according to which ordering a library is a way
silent to exercise the art of criticism».

From 1991 to 1993, you continued your career as a manager
patronage at ORCOFI. You support the creation of new
musical works by renowned but also demanding composers
as Xenakis or Schnittke. At the same time, as director
Orcofi avenue Montaigne, one of the first
private non-commercial cultural spaces, you organize a dozen
exhibitions around the meeting between plastic arts and music,
by working on these canvases and sculptures that are often these
“musicians of silence” of which Mallarmé speaks. I like to recall in
the exhibition of Jean-Charles Blais in 1993, A scenography
for the Hammer without Master, the famous composition by Pierre Boulez.

But one of the most beautiful pages of your career is, of course,
at the Paris Opera, where you are Secretary General,
member of the Executive Committee from 1994 to 2005. Modernization and
innovations you bring to the relationship with the public prove
your talent and skills, which I know great. This great
Parisian institution, which you manage to open to the public of the regions,
from 15,000 to 35,000 subscribers between these two dates.

In this «big house» strong of its traditions, you innovate, you
explore, you invent: new formulas, new offers, new
services and especially the development of a digital ambition, of which we know
how it is a tool for conquering new audiences, including
in the great places of the performing arts. So you are a remarkable
cultural entrepreneur, who knows how to organize and manage
artistic ambition and cultural project. The result is there, with a rate of
93% fill and significant resource development
facilities. Your exemplary collaboration with
the Association pour le Rayonnement de l'Opera de Paris (AROP),
increase by seven the contributions of patronage. You know how much the
sponsorship is important: it represents a dimension
cultural action. Today, even more than in the past, it is
to modify the artist’s relationship with the Prince, to open a dialogue
confident and fruitful with all economic actors concerned about
commit to funding culture.

One of the opera’s finest voices, Maria Callas, herself said:
the opera is a corpse that still has some nervous reactions; but
it costs so much to end up with very little
Spectators! » Your success has denied the gloomy predictions of this
interpreter. For more than ten years, so to speak, your life has
was «crossed by operas», to use the expression of this Henri Bayle
who loved so much to run the listening rooms of Rossini and Cimarosa.

Your thirst for entrepreneurship and your love of music have not
arrested. Since 2006, you have been Assistant to the Director of
other “big house” of the public service of Communication, Radio
France, in charge of communication, marketing and
development. In particular, you are developing the activity of
four musical formations of Radio France, namely the Orchestre national
of France, the Orchestre philarmonique de Radio France, the
Master of Radio France, 450 musicians and 200 concerts per season.

Dear Christian de Pange, in your eyes, everything is music. A painting, a
landscape, a book, a journey are only worth if you hear their music.
This maxim, you have been able to make it your own throughout your rich
a career as a cultural leader.

For your continued commitment, for your ever-fulfilled desire to
develop and make arts and culture, dear Christian de Pange,
on behalf of the French Republic, we make you Commander in
the Order of Arts and Letters.