Reeves, Mayors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am particularly pleased to welcome you here today in this
ministry that is the common home of all who like you are
attached to art and culture.
Actually I would have preferred to have you in the Tower, which we call
now Medici, since she is now under the responsibility of this
department that acquired it a few weeks ago. I would have liked to imagine
with you all, on site, from the top of the towers, what this emblematic place
could become to symbolize the urban renewal of these neighbourhoods and
invent new cultural equipment.
But the Prefect of the Seine Saint Denis, in his great wisdom, made me
notice that we would all run great risks, the Tower being no longer
today in a state of receiving a large audience.
I will therefore go there with you, the reeves and mayors, and
a few journalists in a few days.
I’ve been there three times since the fall of 2010.
I asked my services to follow this project with the largest
attention. In November 2011, I sent a very
competent and passionate about the project - Jérôme Bouet – to whom we owe
the 21 proposals to relaunch the partnership between the State and the
local authorities in the cultural field.
He acquired the skills of Yvane Chapuis who contributed during
years to make Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers a place
The European Commission’s Green Paper on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection.
Both met elected officials, cultural actors, associations;
they organized working meetings to build, with you and the
most prominent actors, somehow in real time and not in
the relative coldness of audits and technical investigations, a project that
meaning for this territory.
I am convinced that we will carry out a project together
Everything invites us to it indeed.
First the impressive transformation of this territory of Clichy-sous
Bois et de Montfermeil, especially in the Groves district.
The construction of thousands of homes, urban remodeling that
the arrival of the metro, since one of the 56 stations of the
Grand Paris metro will be located there, just a few
All this will radically change the lives of the inhabitants.
Your civic, political, professional commitment, all of you who are the
the main actors in the development and progress of this territory, is
Also, remarkable, and without him nothing would have been possible.
I want to pay tribute in particular to the action for the culture of the mayors, Claude
Dilain now Senator, Xavier Lemoine and Olivier Klein. This action
it has already borne much fruit. Jerome’s initiative
Bouvier to carry out in 2006 two demonstrations, «Clichy sans clichés» and
“News from the suburbs” has also left its mark.
Finally, a major asset, the Tower itself is an opportunity that must be seized: the
capacity, the density it offers are advantages
for cultural equipment, which must be able to receive
more intimate spaces of study and work, facilitate the
movement and trade.
Rehabilitated, its exterior appearance redesigned, the tower will be the symbol of
the future of the neighbourhood and its openness to the world, a symbol of progress
This project of the Medici Tower, I have a vision that I would like to make you
share, although I will of course be very attentive to what you
Such ambition can only be achieved if it is understood and
shared, including of course by the nearest population.
The project is inspired by the Villa Medici in Rome that I know well. But it
is inspired by it by adapting and transforming it.
The reception of artists from all over the world and from all disciplines seems to me
be at the heart of the project.
The presence of artists, their stay in Clichy-Montfermeil, research
the works they create in connection with the territory
environment, the way they will transmit their work, all this can
help transform the way we look at the neighbourhood: the way we
the exterior, the look that the inhabitants have on themselves. It is
a key issue.
The most talented artists teach us to look at the world,
to the nearest, to understand it and to act on it. Art
contribute to making us actors and authors of our individual and
our common destiny.
In addition to artist residencies, the Medici Tower project will
include a school.
Young people in neighbourhoods must be helped to access vocational training
artistic and cultural.
These occupations, for example in the plastic arts and
as well as applied arts, offer real opportunities
The experience of Science Po Paris, which has successfully built over the past ten years,
specific channels for young people in neighbourhoods will be invaluable to us.
But we must also offer a chance to enter the trades of the
culture to young people who do not have the baccalaureate: a second chance school
could also see the light of day in this project.
Finally, the project should offer cultural programming open to the
world, with concerts, shows, exhibitions, exhibitions,
This programming should naturally attract the local population and,
well beyond, the Parisian and Parisian public.
It will have to entertain, sensitize, train, discover new
Of course, we still have a way to go to make this happen.
This path we will do together; your support, dear Claude
Dilain, dear Xavier Lemoine, dear Olivier Klein, acquired from the beginning, even
before I discover the Tower myself, will be decisive.
Bertrand Delanoë and Claude Bartolone let me know that they approve
Large private companies usually engaged in support to
the culture and integration of young people were contacted and several of the
they have made their interest known.
Discussions began with the Institut Français, the Ecole Nationale
the City of Music, the Pompidou Centre, the
Versailles Palace, the Quai Branly Museum and will continue with
other public institutions as well as with the extremely rich fabric and
dense cultural institutions of Paris.
We will seek partnerships abroad. Large
universities, foundations could enter into agreements for
artists' residencies. France is in great demand in this field, and
cultural image is excellent.
The rehabilitation of the tower and subsequent operation will result in
a diversity of funding, public and private, French and
international markets. Of course the fiscal environment is tight, even
if the department’s budget is protected. But we have to demonstrate
What we invent together today is an original project, a
project that focuses on the future, on youth, on openness to the world, on
the ability of artists and art to transform life.
Thank you all very much for your trust.