Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to say how pleased I am this morning to come to meet you and to salute the work done by CNHI for the fourth year as part of the “Portes du temps”, a national operation organized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

I am very struck by the way in which you have rightly placed the promotion of the history and cultures of immigration at the centre of your approach to our Heritage, while at the same time considering this history as a source of inspiration for contemporary creators. It is one of the aspects of my visit that struck me: this permanent bond that you have taken care to make between yesterday, today and tomorrow, without nostalgia, but with respect for what has been and in curiosity and trust, in the creative forces of all. At the beginning of July, I took part in the celebration in Lens during the inscription of the mining heritage on the UNESCO list because I am convinced that far from locking us in the knowledge of the past frees us and leads us to a more fraternal future.

You rightly stressed your ambition to promote diversity (and in particular the diversity of heritage) and to welcome more and different audiences. I congratulate you on these ambitions and the results achieved.

More generally, I would like to highlight what I think is fruitful in the "Gates of Time" operation, which I hope to amplify in the future:

-partnerships with associations of popular education and actors of youth and solidarity, but also with local and regional authorities, so much so that it is true that our Ministry never acts alone, and that in my opinion it is destined to be a unifying force,

-the territorial anchor, with 56 sites in 18 regions, the Drac now associated with these operations could become the carriers in the future,

-the diversification of sites, from museums and monuments mainly located in urban areas, the sites hosting the operation are now closer to rural areas (thanks to the partnership with the confederation of rural households), I want this diversification to continue, and I trust the Regional Directors to lead this movement.

Lastly, I would like to stress the major role played by national institutions, which, as CNHI does, remain open during the summer, offer activities and a specific reception during the holidays, which allows young people to take the time to meet and reflect. 900 participants over 10 days is a great result that your institution can legitimately be proud of. These specific actions have all the more value and impact because they extend the work you carry out throughout the year (since 2008 70,000 students welcomed and 3,000 teachers trained) and I congratulate you.

I hope that by next summer we will be able to amplify these initiatives, better coordinate them and make them known. I want to make summer a time for art, heritage and culture, giving priority to welcoming all those who are far from it, especially young people.

At this time of return, I also wish to announce the main principles that will guide my action of coordination of the great national work of arts and cultural education.

 Announced during the campaign as one of the cultural priorities of François Hollande, the generalization of Arts and Cultural Education is a major national project mobilizing for three reasons:

- because the development of sensitivity and capacity for access to works and heritage is a democratic issue recognized and shared by the State and the Local and Regional Authorities,

- because the development of talent and creativity is a central education and training issue in a modern country,

- because the development of artistic and cultural practice goes hand in hand with the individual capacity for emancipation and the collective dynamic of living together.

This project, which mobilizes my colleagues from National Education, Youth and Sports and Community Life but other services of the State, will be coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

It is also an essential partnership issue between the State and local and regional authorities, the successful experiences of the last 20 years having shown that the way of generalization is through territorialisation, and contractualisation.

To succeed, this project must finally involve the professional arts and culture community, as well as popular education associations, and more broadly the socio-educational community.

My method will be progressive and pragmatic.

It will start from the ground, will be based on consultation, will be inspired by «good practices», will promote contractualisation. The national plan will be rolled out from the start of 2013.

I want to promote access to art and culture for all young people and to promote an artistic and cultural education for all young people.

My priority is that each child can benefit from artistic and cultural paths, at school and extending over all his life time.

The national consultation will be launched in the coming weeks, I will ensure to involve all public partners, all actors. I am convinced that it is possible and necessary to meet the expectations of all and to concretely translate today in all territories this great ambition of a generalization of the EAC.

From now on, BEC courses must be included in each young person’s course. These paths do not respond to typical models but they are necessary for all because they contribute to social integration while being part of the construction of the individual.

This is the sense of commitment I made when I took office “to work so that all the children of France have access to these marvels of art and culture, to this openness to the curiosity of the beautiful things of the world”.

To educate in art, to give the taste of beautiful things, is in a way to practice choose to live his life, so it is, as Hannah Arendt writes, «humanize the world Taste is the political faculty that truly humanizes the beautiful and creates a culture… A cultured person should be “someone who knows how to choose his companions among men, things, thoughts, in the present as in the past.”