Mr First President of the Court of Auditors, dear Didier Migaud, Mr Attorney General, Ladies and Gentlemen Presidents of Chambers, Mr Administrator General of the Mobilier National, dear Bernard Schotter, Dear Jacques Sallois, Dear Vincent Bioulès, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 2012, more tapestries were installed.

If I am very pleased to be with you today for this installation, on the staircase of honour of a bicentennial institution and of the remarkable building of Constant Moyaux, whose one hundred years are being celebrated this year, it is because this gesture unites contemporary creation with the continuity of the State – through that of your institution, and that of our factories.

To appeal to contemporary creation to illustrate this continuity in a high place of the Republic, which is more in its symbolic heart, the staircase where pass all those who frequent the Court and its external visitors: this was not obvious, for an institution that has long been preferred to dress with triumphs of Apollo or Venus tricentenarians.

It took a personality like Philippe Séguin to embark on this path with conviction. We know what the streets and squares of Epinal owe him, for which he had acquired works by César, Buren, Anne and Patrick Poirier, Ange Leccia and Bernar Venet. This keen interest in design and contemporary art was accompanied by a deep respect for the permanence of state institutions - including our factories and their centuries-old history, for what they represent in terms of dialogue between creators and crafts. In this regard, I am certain that he would have particularly appreciated the exhibition «Décor et installations», organized by the Mobilier National, which can be admired by the Gobelins and Beauvais.

Taking up the great tradition of public commission, your predecessor, dear Didier Migaud, has thus reconnected with the gesture and spirit of Félix Barthe, the former carbonaro who became First President of the Court under Louis-Philippe, who had commissioned Théodore Chassériau.

This initiative by Philippe Séguin, launched in 2005 in preparation for the bicentenary of the Court, was enthusiastically welcomed by the delegation to the visual arts of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, especially for the new decoration of the reading room - and we still remember Philippe Séguin coming to join the artisans on the scaffolding, making the work of Bernar Venet.

When it came to rethinking the restoration and decoration of the staircase of honour, it was this same quality of dialogue that animated the exchanges of my ministry with the First President. The Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs has contributed its expertise to the restoration of Henri Gervex’s work. And when the idea of a diptych confronting the imperial history and the republican history of the Court emerged, it was you, dear Bernard Schotter, who suggested to Philippe Séguin to start from a carton of Van Pool [pronounce Pol] practically contemporary with the creation of the Court, taking up the bust of Napoleon by Canova. The idea hit the spot with the great admirer of the Emperor that was Philippe Séguin, especially since the work had later been hijacked by Louis XVIII and transformed into a tribute to Alexander I of Russia. It is also you who suggest the name of a renowned artist, Vincent Bioulès, with whom the current passes very quickly with the First President who will show great attention to the design of the diptych.

In Paris and Beauvais, for almost three years, Alain Masselin, Sylvie Schnell, Lucien Melki, Irène Chaillot, Béatrice Grisol, Elisabeth Rivaud and Amélie Zerr made these two tapestries on Vincent Bioulès' boxes.

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of going to the Beauvais factory, where I was able to admire the remarkable work of the liciers – which you, dear Didier Migaud, were able to admire in your turn when the loom fell last October for these two works.

Faced with the Napoleonic legislator, surrounded by the founding texts of the Court modernized by the Emperor, it is a warm portrait of the Republic that was made at the Gobelins, with magistrates and staff, in close ranks, like the dignitaries that can be admired in the mosaics of Ravenna. The martial flags of the First Empire became peaceful flags; and the male dignitaries now gave way to the magistrates, around a Marianne and a tree of freedom adorned with the colours of France.

I would like to salute today the spirit of complicity that has reigned between the Court and its First President, the artist and the halters. The remarkable result of the company is clearly the result.

Philippe Seguin will thus have reconnected with the tradition of public orders to manufacturers: dear Didier Migaud, other institutions, I hope, will be inspired by the example of the Court of Auditors.

Thank you.