Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the ceremony of the remission of the insignia of officer in the order of Legion of Honour to StéphaneMartin, of knight in the order of Legion of Honour to Gérard Devos,from officer in the National Order of Merit to Catherine d'Argoubet, dechevalier in the National Order of Merit to Sarah Maldoror, officierdans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres to Gérard Jourd'hui and AlainGuillon

Dear Stéphane Martin,
It is with great pleasure that I share with you today what
is undoubtedly a moment of great pride, both for you, for
the entire Quai Branly museum of which you are the President, but
also for the Ministry of Culture, which is fortunate to be able to support
on your commitment to the cause of intercultural dialogue. This
last, in fact, only makes sense if it manages to exceed the threshold
only good will to be rooted in the institutions and in the

The Rue de Valois is very familiar to you, since you worked there at
my predecessor, Philippe Douste-Blazy, 15 years ago. Your
personal attachment to the service of Culture already has a long history.
Because if we trace the course of your career, we see that before taking your
Chief of Staff here, you’ve been through the
most prestigious French cultural institutions. Since 1989, you
are appointed General Delegate of the Centre Pompidou. Creativity,
diversity and originality that characterize this unique place in the landscape
are the source of all your projects. Thanks to your
recognized versatility, you move from museum to radio, integrating
1990 the great Maison de Radio France as deputy director
by Claude Samuel, then by becoming director of music and
between 1993 and 1995.

The two years you spend on rue de Valois are then a turning point
in your professional life, as they lead you to rethink
the place of the first arts in the museum landscape
French. At the end of 1995, you set out to
implements a project that, while fulfilling an ambition dear to the President
of the Republic Jacques Chirac, also corresponds to a
personal passion. You share a particular attachment
for Africa with Jacques Kerchache. What better learning
an experience of working together with a collector who has done
of the journey a priesthood, and who made his own the concern of the meeting of
cultures? This specialist of the so-called «primitive» arts, author of an inventory
criticism of nearly 10,000 pieces, introducing the term “arts”
has inspired an essential process: a requalification
complete of the ethnological and artistic importance of the works
from non-western civilizations.

In 1998, the public establishment of Quai Branly was created. The trust of
President of the Republic and your role in the construction of the project
of your appointment as President and CEO of this
institution, a no-brainer. Three years after the launch of its project, the
Musée du Quai Branly opens its doors and offers to the public in February 2006,
thanks to the bold look of Jean Nouvel, a colourful stroll
in a cubist space invaded by the forest, which you like to describe as
“a huge cabin”. Today we are talking about the Quai Branly as we
talks about the Louvre, Orsay or the Centre Pompidou, because its
architectural envelope and the treasures it contains are
already cardinal landmarks, in France and abroad. In five years
the legitimacy of the museum was quickly established, thanks to your
and that of your teams, who force admiration. You are the
face of this success, and your recent reappointment as head of the museum
came to testify.

Dear Stéphane Martin, you are crowning an attachment and a
commitment to the primary arts, which undoubtedly dates back to a childhood
marked by regular trips to Gabon. These trips have you
led to build a clean imagination, where the shift of the gaze
occupies a major place. After your baccalaureate, you take the road,
alongside your father, from Paris to Abidjan. Later, after a service
military in the Marquesas Islands and brilliant studies at the National School
administration, even when you specialize in
budget and financial, you do not lose sight of Africa, since you
spend three years in Dakar, from 1986 to 1989, as president of the
audit and audit commission of institutions
senegalese public.

Today, this passion is still present in the programming of the
Musée du Quai Branly, but also in its development beyond
its walls. I would like to insist, because it is particularly important to me,
on your support for African museums. The Quai Branly
from the first months of its existence to the construction of the
Konso culture in Ethiopia, to which you have contributed an expertise
scientific and technical, in order to contribute to its exploitation and
preservation especially in the face of predation of collectors little
I recognize your sense of sharing and transmitting the
know-how, which also led you to manage, with the School of Heritage
of Porto-Novo, Benin, an aid to the establishment of
training programmes for future African curators, or
lending objects from the Behanzin treasury to the Foundation
Zinsou, in Cotonou.

It is also the fruit of your commitment to reclaim the
memory that goes through the valorization of rites on sites where they are
practices. This perspective is complementary to the presentation
proposed by the Quai Branly Museum of non-European
in respect of their expression, by refusing that their
applied systems of thought proper to Western culture.
Within this museum, you have taken over the Museum of Man,
but by choosing an anthropological and historical approach,
rather than strictly museum, civilizations.
Quai Branly is much more than a museum of ethnological collections. It
offers a multidisciplinary approach, where anthropology and sociology,
history, musicology and linguistics find their place in the
that cinema, theatre and dance can also
bring. For you, the museum thinks and develops like a
“exchange platform” and a “social forum”. It establishes a dialogue
between disciplines and eras, between peoples and their expressions.
In the heart of this city, the amphitheatre Claude Lévi-Strauss welcomes a
programming that makes it possible to radiate, throughout the space
Quai Branly, the living experience of otherness.

The Quai Branly is also the scientific quality of its
research and pedagogy. Its amphitheatre, classrooms and
seminars allow the existence of a free People’s University that
actively participates in attracting new audiences to the museum by
the evolution of our view of the early arts. The
research programmes are developed there thanks to a
active partnerships with American, Japanese or
still Brazilian. You have managed to build a research network
which is enriched every day by new collaborations
and that allows the development of an interdisciplinary

Dear Stéphane Martin, the strength of your institution is also
in the outstanding quality of your temporary exhibitions. Some have
success and remain in our memories. We are
still remembers “Planète Métisse”, “Le siècle du Jazz”, de
“Tarzan” or “Fabrique des images”. With “The Orient des
Women», you asked Hana Chidiac and Christian Lacroix for
rediscover the history of women’s clothing in the Middle East.
With «Dogon», you will soon inaugurate the biggest event
never realized on a people whose culture has radiated, among others by
through Marcel Griaule and Jean Rouch, far beyond the
borders of Mali.

Dear Stéphane Martin, you offer us the world’s views for us
help change our view of the world. On behalf of the President of the
Republic and by virtue of the powers conferred upon us, we you
let us make Officer in the order of the Legion of Honor.

Dear Gérard Devos,
Born of a violinist father and harpist mother, the fate destined you to the
music. But the talent and success with which you have achieved this
destiny, you owe them only to yourself. Your success begins as soon as
studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where
you take courses from prestigious professors, like Tony Aubin,
Marcel Tournier and Olivier Messiaen, and where you receive many
first prizes: harp, harmony, fugue and counterpoint. Added
to this a second price of composition and a first price of harp to the
Prague International Competition. These awards do not just signal
your excellence, they also mark the diversity of your skills.
Throughout your life, you will never cease to lead several
careers: conductor, harpist, teacher, composer. I want to
salute this rare diversity that testifies to your unbridled love for

By first indulging in harp alone, you are registering in a
great French tradition as evidenced by the famous
Boieldieu and the enchanted fingers of Lily Laskine. As harpist, you
join the Republican Guard Orchestra and
the Pasdeloup Orchestra. But your passion for the harp is not
only that of an interpreter, it is also that of a remarkable
pedagogue. Anxious to transmit your art to the younger generations,
you lead the harp class at the CNSM of Paris for more than thirty
years, where you have always been greatly appreciated by your students – those,
in the trade, they call them “little Devos”. However, you
interested in other instruments and, through your participation in the jury of
prestigious competitions, you reward the best talents.

Dear Gérard Devos, it is actually more as a conductor than the
public knows you. Yet your brilliant career as a chef
started a little by chance, thanks to the encouragement of your
professional entourage. To the international competition of orchestra direction
of Besançon in 1956, you win the first prize without ever having
studied orchestral direction, extraordinary proof of your mastery and
your versatility. Determined by this success, you manage several
lyrical performances at the Rouen theatre, before taking the vicepresidency,
then the presidency of the Pasdeloup Orchestra, which you
keep for twenty years. I like to recall the role of this orchestra
and therefore yours in the democratization of musical pleasure and in the
promotion of popular concerts. Their 150th anniversary will be celebrated in
next November at the Cirque d'Hiver, cradle of their birth, in
the initiative of Jules Pasdeloup, in 1861, but also of their rebirth in
1918 thanks to the patronage of Serge Sandberg, the producer of Sacha

At the same time, as a guest conductor, you participate in life
the arts in the region, as well as the spread of cultural know-how
French abroad, throughout Europe, but also in America and

Dear Gérard Devos, you are one of the last French chiefs to have
conducted a Parisian orchestra, and you defended music a lot
through works of the repertoire as well as through the
contemporary compositions, from Debussy to Messiaen, from Berlioz to
Milhaud. Author of some works for various
formations, from the symphony orchestra to the chamber music, you
have created works by French composers such as Henri Sauguet or
Henri Tomasi. Because music, dear Gérard Devos, is for you the
shared a common passion: your wife, an emeritus pianist, was the
first to accompany you during your tours abroad, as
than solo pianist.

Dear Gérard Devos, without the interpretation, the music remains virtual,
silent, because the scores are silent. They are these 'musicians'
of silence” of which Stéphane Mallarmé speaks. The talented performer you
are made to speak, makes us live the music and makes us love it. In the name
of the President of the Republic and by virtue of our powers
conferred, we make you Knight in the order of the Legion of Honor.

Dear Catherine d'Argoubet,
This is the second time that you have been invited to the departmental salons
Culture and Communication to receive awards
your passion, your commitment throughout the region
Midi-Pyrénées, and finally your inventiveness are solely responsible. Like
of my predecessor Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres,
welcoming today, salute the determination and daring of your actions
for the promotion of classical music among all
public, regional and international.

You are one of the personalities who participated in the promotion of
of the Toulouse region, which has
Paul-Arnaud Péjouan-Cassanelli, to make the first festival
French piano in Toulouse, Piano aux Jacobins, a moment
for generations of performers and spectators,
An unmissable event, where the loyalty of artists has, over the years,
create a true “family spirit”.

The passion of Piano aux Jacobins for the keyboard is also a passion of
the discovery of new talents such as Ramin Bahrami or Martin
Helmchen who made their first appearance at the Festival two years ago.
Beyond the prestigious suite of great pianists
within the Jacobin Cloister, including Horzowski, Cziffra,
Ciccolini, Lugansky or Anne-Marie McDermott, you always
to open your programming to the diversity of genres and
jazz pianists. I am thinking in particular of Franck Avitabile, Jacky
Terrasson and Lorraine Desmarais. The success of your festival is such that
since December 2005, it exports to Beijing, Paris and more recently to
Shanghai where your skills were requested by the European Union
to organize many concerts on the occasion of the Exhibition

The Piano aux Jacobins festival is also the meeting place between
artistic expressions. Music, architecture and the arts
During the autumn, plastic artists are invited to participate in an art dialogue entitled
«Tableaux-Concerts», where in turn Paul Andreu, Marc
Desgrandchamps, Karol Beffa, Simon Zaoui, soaring in a sky
opened Baudelairian correspondence.

In 1985 you launch the series Grands interprètes whose quality has no equal
that ambition of awareness and sharing. Concerned about diversity
programming and by the goal of expanding the audience of music lovers, your
association Grands Interprètes, works in collaboration with the service
educational activities of the Region and the Regional Youth Council.
Thus, each season, in the concern to make the generations dialogue and
create new vocations, several rehearsals are open to
students. It is the same for meetings with artists. In January
2010, for example, high school students were able to approach the musical world
with Hungarian conductor Ivan Fischer. I do not forget that
alongside the many artistic and cultural responsibilities that
you assume since 1980, you were director of communication
of the Toulouse National Chamber Orchestra between 1990 and 1995.

Dear Catherine d'Argoubet, your passion and enthusiasm have brought
their fruits. For more than thirty years you have offered to the citizens
and music lovers of great moments of happiness, for this I want you
express my gratitude. On behalf of the President of the Republic, we
Officer in the National Order of Merit.

Dear Sarah Maldoror,
Baudelaire, who in Mon coeur mis à nu wrote: There is no great among
men as the poet, the priest and the soldier, the man who sings,
the man who blesses, the man who sacrifices and sacrifices himself. The rest is done for
the whip”. If you say you can’t write yourself, your work
yet has made known like no other, to
through the words of others and their poetry, the ideas that carried the struggle
for African independence, and the great voices of reality
postcolonial and diversity.

In the world of Caribbean and African black cinema, you are one of the
only filmmakers who have achieved so much strength and character
the voices of the persecuted and the rebellious. For you, the
struggle, the cinema and liberation are as many cardinal points of
today’s Africa. You thus register the film creation,
and more broadly cultural, in an activist approach that denounces
colonialism forever. I quote, if you will: For
many African filmmakers, cinema was a tool of revolution,
a political education to transform consciences. It
in the emergence of a Third World cinema seeking to decolonize the
designed to promote radical changes in society.”

You wanted to be a tragic actress. After a few tries in the theatre,
you participated in the creation in 1956 of the first black troupe in Paris,
«Griots», then go to Moscow in the early 1960s to
learn the job of filmmaker under the direction of Gherassimov and
Donskoy at the Gorki studio, where you meet the great Ousmane Sembène,
who left us four years ago. Your first documentary in 1968,
Monagambé, inspired by the script of the Angolan writer Luandino Vieira,
imprisoned by the Portuguese colonial power, tells the story of a
Angolans in prison and dealing with torture in Algeria. Your masterstroke
is awarded several prizes, including the award of best director, by the
Carthage Festival. In Sambizanga, which you shoot with
non-professional actors affiliated with the People’s Liberation Movement
Angola and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Town
Green, you make a portrait without retouching of the Angolan resistance, whose
the realities have been more than familiar to you, you who have been the wife of
Mário de Andrade. This award-winning film sets your reputation
committed artist.

You then prefer the format of the documentary because it allows you to
define through portraits of artists, portraits of precursors - I
In particular, Aimé Césaire, Le masque des mots, from 1987 -
the waiting period for the rehabilitation of black history and its
figures. Among the thirty or so documentaries and films
that you realize, several major themes are to remember: the wars
contemporary African liberation, the entry of women into the struggle.
You have also played a major role in filling the image gap of
women both behind and in front of the camera. You put
also the acuteness of your gaze in the service of the fight against
intolerances and stigmatization of all types, including
your 1984 documentary Racism in Everyday Life. You also
fundamental importance to solidarity between the oppressed, to the
political repression, atrocities and abuses committed in
peace. Finally, you celebrate the commitment of the artist and art as an act of
freedom, with portraits of Leon Gontran Damascus, Louis Aragon, or
again from Toto Bissainthe.

Dear Sarah Maldoror, you are an outspoken rebel, a
a resolute humanist. Throughout your
career you have never ceased to castigate, inform and show the
the toughest realities to your camera’s objective both realistic and
poetic. Your view on the memory of slavery and colonial events
for us all a unique value. On behalf of the President of the Republic,
we make you a Knight in the National Order of Merit.

Dear Gérard Jourd'hui,
If I have invited you today in the salons of the Ministry of Culture and
of Communication, it is that I particularly want to greet
the undeniable renewal you have carried out in recent decades
in French television. You are truly a man
an orchestra that has been working since the 1980s to diversify
programming and wider access to quality cinema on
the major national channels.

An avid cinephile, you have dedicated your life to
general uniformity in creating programs, producing films, in
participating in a popular cinema, where mingled for the greatest happiness
viewers, the discovery of American classics, the
in the most flourishing eras of rock music, the
serials, and adaptations of the comic classics. I think of Adèle
Blanc Sec», a project created with your private company Blue Dalhia.
In turn actor, producer, director, screenwriter, journalist, with
strong ambition to energize and reach audiences of all ages through
modern programs adapted to the demands of viewers, your
career took off in 1981 with the creation of the cult show The
presented by your friend and accomplice Eddy Mitchell. If
the show stayed on the air for about 15 years, that’s
that she gave all French people the opportunity to discover
essential films of the repertoire, from the western to the film noir, which were not
reserved only for the rare audience of Parisian cinematheques.

From 1985 to 1988 Dominique Bigle gives you the show Le Disney
Channel» on FR3, aimed at youth and broadcasting the adventures of
Zorro, by Davy Crockett, but also American cartoons. In 1985
this issue is rewarded with the Golden 7 of the best issue for
the youth.
You are then asked by your friend Patrice Blanc Francart to
directing TV6’s “cinema” programming, and
on the other hand to carry out a program on these «Sixties» that you
have shaped. The chain will keep from your passage an opening
remarkable to foreign genres and cinemas, I think of the series
American Golden Age of the 50s/60s as “Invaders”,
“La Grande Vallée” or “Au coeur des temps”; but also in
thrillers, musical comedies, Hong Kong sabre films, the
Italian penguins and science fiction that you thought would use
the television tool to foster technological innovation for
new generations.

It is on the Five that in 1987 you create the afternoon program
«Vive la Télé» with several American or French series including
including «Max the Threat», the famous American spy series
humorous, a crazy combination of James Bond and my
comedies» as its creator Mel Brooks defined it, or
French cult series, «Les Saintes chéries», with Micheline Presle who
humorously staged the misadventures of a French couple
modest in the 1960s.
Your love of independent cinema pushes you to found with your friend
Eddy Mitchell a production company that can boast of having seen born
films by filmmakers such as Richard Berry, Laurent Heynemann,
Philippe Garrel, Ronan Girre, Jacques Weber, Anne-Marie Etienne for
only a few.

In a constant concern for entertainment and education, you have
your energy to make accessible masterpieces of the
classical repertoire: Molière, Simenon and Maupassant
your impulse, as popular as «Hi Buddies». You are a
“rock child”, a “television child”, but also a child of the 20th century
century, which bathed in the universe of the image and which transmitted and bequeathed a
heritage through this «strange skylight» with resources

Dear Gérard Jourd'hui, thanks to your audacity, your skills and your
inventiveness constantly renewed, you have marked the landscape
French audiovisual, and he is a key figure in the universe
audiovisual and cinematographic that I would like to salute.
On behalf of the French Republic, we make you Officer in order
of Arts and Letters.

Dear Alain Guillon,
A real meeting, a decisive meeting, is something that
looks like fate”: thus Tahar Ben Jelloun, so could
to summarize your life and your career. You are indeed a goldsmith in
sponsorship and the organization of cultural events. And
your remarkable journey has been marked by decisive meetings and
prominent personalities, including your parents,
died in painful circumstances, but also your brother,
of which you are very close, and to which you wish to dedicate this discount
of badges. I know how much attention and value you place on
free his body from the “prison of the spirit” in which he finds himself
locked away.

From your professional beginnings, you show a marked interest in the
live performance. After a visit to the Champs Elysées theatre, you
become Secretary at the Odeon Theatre, then directed by Madeleine
Renaud and Jean Louis Barrault, unforgettable Baptiste des Enfants du
Paradis, who knew in the same way as Jean Vilar, to bring the theatre culture to
heart of society, the one who was an intense, immense but also
an “awakener” for many spectators.. While events
of May 68 bring this place into the turmoil of history, you spend
a few weeks with them, so to speak prisoners of the theatre. And
when the Renaud-Barrault company rises from the ashes, you are
appointed administrator of the theatre Récamier; you are then the youngest
theater administrator of France.

Born in theatre, you find on stage your vocation: it will be life
cultural. You have become a showman and then join the
Sunny Music productions, which produce Musicals and
led by Annie Fargue. This is the time of the seventies, the
liberation movements including musicals like Oh
Calcutta or Godspell express aspirations. You participate in its
sides to the transformation of the Elysée Montmartre, until then better known
to host wrestling or boxing fights, in concert halls.

It is the meeting with Pierre Cardin that marks a turning point in your
career: you join the Espace Cardin as Director of Relations
public relations and external relations. You are making your first weapon
in the organization of shows, exhibitions and film launches:
it is in this context that I meet you, while I was
the operator of an art-house cinema. From this period
these «great friendships» of which Jacques and Raïssa Maritain speak,
those who shape a life, those who forge an individual.

Trained violinist, music lover, you could only be attracted
by the world of music, the one that vibrates at the opening of the curtain of
stage, the one that whispers to listen to the subtle vibrato of a singer. In
1975, you join the Valmalète Concert Bureau: you
coordinate and organize tours of artists wishing to perform at
Paris. From cultural actor you become agent of artists, of which you prepare,
with the precision that we know you, the stays. You then weave
deep and lasting ties with internationally renowned artists.
You learn a trade, you create a network of trust and friendship;
with this rich experience, having learned a lot from
Madame de Valmalète, you decide to create your own agency

The man of initiatives and projects who sleeps in you thus becomes
From 1978 to 1985, with the support of the Bruni-
Tedeschi, whose intimate connection with music and creation is known
musical – and I would like to welcome Ms. Marisa Bruni
Tedeschi among us – you create your own concert office,
Mondial Musique, of which you become the President and CEO with
Monique Perruchon as partner. Prestigious artists you
join: Aldo Ciccolini, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gabriel Tacchino, Erik
Berchot and so many others. You run the world, you solicit the most
major operas and prestigious halls to showcase the 200 or so
artists of which you are the agent. So, the music takes you as a
and takes you into the whirlwind of concerts, galas, and
evenings, with sustained attention to well-being and quality of hospitality
artists who trust you.

It is from this entrepreneurial experience that you put your
recognized skills in the service of public institutions. More
of 10 years, you are Secretary General then General Administrator in
as director of sponsorship of the Ensemble orchestral de Paris.
You then seek to renew the image of the Ensemble, to prepare
the arrival of the new music director and to forge links with the
Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris. For more than 14 years, you
contribute to the influence of the Orchestral Ensemble, by
an exemplary patronage policy and an active policy
public. It is on this occasion that you meet
Jean-Jacques Aillagon, with whom you collaborate as part of the
Interdepartmental mission 2000 in France, of which he was then President.

On this occasion, as Deputy Director of the Cultural Program, you
fully express your qualities as an organizer. With a team
yet reduced, you study 3000 files and label them
most remarkable events. You then ensure the success of the
Doors of the Year 2000 event, launched by the Ministry of Culture
into the 21st century. You are therefore one of its
Valois street, where you bring your
knowledge of artists and sponsorship issues. You join the
Palace of Versailles, you work with President Christine
Albanel and you found the Circle of Friends of the Baroque Music Centre
of Versailles, this pole of influence and excellence that has done so much for the
the repertoire of early music, an institution whose
Philippe Beaussant embodied both the spirit and the letter. Here again,
your talent as an organizer and facilitator do wonders, with the
renewed support from the Bruni-Tedeschi family that accompanies you in
this great adventure.

Pursuing your passion for music, you are today at the
request of Pierre Traversac, their founder (1964), responsible for
artistic programme of the Rendez-vous musicaux des Grandes Etapes
French. By associating a dinner with a concert in the prestigious
of a castle-hotel, they testify to the ever-present need to
to make discover the heritage through the creation and the living spectacle.
Since 1964, more than 1300 concerts have been held in all genres
and you are thus participating in the recording of this beautiful idea.

Dear Alain Guillon, for your profound attention to artists,
for the generous action you have taken in companies and
cultural institutions where you exercised your talents, for your role
in the international influence of many French artists,
name of the French Republic, we make you Officer in order
of Arts and Letters.