Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Thank you for coming in such large numbers for this handover.


“Transfer of power”: behind those words is the idea of continuity. An indispensable continuity in public action and in particular in the Ministry of Culture. There is also the word “power”, with misleading polysemy, a word that must say “power to do”. That is certainly what I heard.

When I arrived seventeen months ago, I said these few words by Edgar Morin: "By sacrificing the essential for emergency, we forget the urgency of the essential."

This sentence served as a compass in this new world that I discovered. The new world, for those who, like me, came from elsewhere, was this public life of which we knew nothing, a coded institutional life.

We weren’t all prepared. For many of us, a time of adaptation was necessary; adaptation to a form of violence, to the political-media harshness. No one missed it.

Despite everything, my life as a minister was a happy one.

I am happy and proud of the work that has been done for a year and a half.

I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Republic and to the Prime Minister who gave me this opportunity to discover, at the age of 66, a new universe. Express my unwavering desire to see them succeed this five-year term. I would also like to express my gratitude because here, on rue de Valois, but especially everywhere in France, I was able to “do”:

Doing what I believe in since my youth involvement, in the struggles that animated Brussels after May 68.

To serve culture, which is the most beautiful fight. To do for my country: France.

I came here as a cultural activist; I come out of it as I came in, with the same determination, with the same convictions, and with a tenfold energy. Today, I can see even more than yesterday the immensity of the challenges facing France and Europe.


Dear Frank Riester,

I pass the torch to you, reassured to know that this ministry is in good hands. And with the pride of having been able to carry major battles in the service of the general interest, from this Ministry of Culture: the most beautiful of the Ministries.

It is the most beautiful of the Ministries because we are in France, and that the destiny of France has always been deeply linked to that of the arts.

It is the most beautiful of the Ministries because the women and men who make it live, in this administration, in the territories, in the cultural institutions, in the workshops, in the schools, these women and men are moved by a force that exceeds them.

It is the most beautiful of the Ministries because it needs to constantly reinvent itself.

Its history merges with that of the Fifth Republic.

Like the Fifth Republic, it will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Whereas the time «Malraux» was that of the territorial network, and the time «Lang» that of a ministry that took the body of the subjects of society, our time bears a responsibility: that of proposing a new political vision.

To put the ministry of culture at the service of those who are excluded, to combat «cultural segregation»: this was the meaning of my action.

Cultural segregation is the one that leaves too many French people at the doors of our theatres, our operas and our museums. It is the one that makes culture a privilege reserved for a few, and makes a majority say, "Culture is not for me."

Culture is a chance for all. But if some manage to grasp it, a majority stay on the path.

Our nations and our societies face so many divisions. The cultural divide is not at the heart of the debates; it is no less dangerous. Because it is at the crossroads of so many things – territories, knowledge, individual and collective emancipation, identity, civilizations – fighting this divide should be a priority.

So, strengthened by what those who preceded me have accomplished, strengthened by what I had been able to wear in my professional and associative life, strengthened finally by the support of the President of the Republic, who loves culture like few of his predecessors since François Mitterrand, I fought against cultural segregation.

The fight against cultural segregation, I first led it to school, which must be a place of equality. As soon as I joined the Ministry of Culture, I made arts and cultural education a priority. With Jean-Michel Blanquer, we worked together, pooled the resources of our ministries, brought together DRAC and rectors, around a single ambition: to make arts education a universal right, integrated in the curriculum of 100% of children, from 3 to 18 years. With the program “A Choir in Every School”, the plan “All Orchestral Musicians”, the two-hour sanctuary dedicated to arts and culture in each child’s schedule, we are making this ambition a reality.

I had an obsession: putting artistic practice at the heart of our project. An artistic practice, supervised by cultural actors to accompany teachers. Because it alone allows children to become actors in their lives.

The fight against cultural segregation, I extended it with the Culture Pass, a new cultural public service, a geolocated app that shows all the cultural life in the vicinity. Everything had to be invented; we built it with those to whom it is addressed in the first place: the young. It will be a tool for their artistic practice and cultural outings. His very next experiment should put us on the road to generalization to an entire age group, starting in 2019.

The fight against cultural segregation is embodied in my fight to open more and better libraries, launched with the mission I entrusted to Erik Orsenna. More than 250 libraries are committed to expanding their opening hours, to adapt to the pace of life of our fellow citizens. This will mean an average of 6 extra hours per week. One Frenchman in six will benefit from these new hours.

The fight against cultural segregation is also a fight for our territories.

The “culture near you” plan contributes to this. Having established a numerical diagnosis to objectify exclusion, I decided to break away from a form of cultural Parisianism, which is sometimes ignored but often assumed. I wanted to give the floor back to territories we no longer cared about. I wanted to forge tailor-made cultural projects in all disciplines. I wanted to promote artistic roaming and the spirit of the new sponsors, to leverage the action of so many actors already engaged.

It was not always pleasant. The giggles and objections that accompanied our desire to make The Mona Lisa Roam sum up a state of mind. The Mona Lisa in New York, yes; in Vesoul, no. 

Present remarkable works of art hitherto reserved for metropolises in the Vosges plain, in Martinique or in the popular districts of Evreux: This is what we are accomplishing with the catalogue of desires that will allow the loan of 500 masterpieces or the deployment of 200 micro-folies throughout France, especially in the less endowed areas.

In this fight, I was proud to begin a territorial rebalancing in the department’s budget. This year, decentralized appropriations allocated to the regions were increased by €44m, bringing them to €860m. From now on, more than 70% of the Ministry’s intervention appropriations will be managed by the drac.

It is also in this spirit that I wanted to strengthen and protect the heritage budget over the entire five-year period, particularly to help municipalities with low resources: the restoration of their heritage contributes to their revitalization. To develop and implement this multi-year heritage strategy, I was able to rely on the Heritage Branch, all of its agents, Jean-Michel Loyer-Hascouet, who has been at the helm for several months and whom I thank.

In my action, I wanted to establish a new Pact with local elected representatives, with all local authorities, in a partnership logic with the State. I like to think that I would have been the minister of the territories, anxious to build in a spirit of territorial solidarity.

The fight against cultural segregation also takes place in the professional environment. It is a fight to give everyone and above all everyone equal access to the professions of culture; it is the fight for equality between women and men. In the live performance, especially in the cinema- with the bonus of 15% on the support mobilized for the production, for the films whose teams are exemplary in terms of parity.

I would like to thank Agnès Saal and express my friendship with her. She took this issue to heart, and her commitment never wavered.

Our country needs its creators. It needs its artists. I have never stopped defending and protecting them.

This is the whole meaning of the second aspect of my action: to meet the challenge of regulation and its necessary modernization. I met this challenge at the European level.

With the vote by the European Parliament in favour of the SMA and copyright directives, we have achieved two major victories.

The first allows us to integrate video-on-demand (such as Netflix) and hosting (such as Youtube) platforms into our model; to impose on them the same obligations for financing French creation, and the same requirements for the dissemination of European works as for traditional actors.

The second allows a fairer remuneration for authors and creators on the Internet, and the creation of a neighbouring right for press publishers.

By protecting creators in the digital age, political Europe has given us the best evidence of its ability to protect our cultural model.

This challenge of regulation is the one imposed on us by the manipulation of information.

By blurring the boundaries of truth and falsehood, by transforming trust into distrust, false information, artificially spread on social networks, slowly destroys trust and threatens our democracies.

With conviction, I have defended, alongside the majority of bills that effectively respond to these threats and protect the vitality of democratic debate. Far from the caricatures of this text, we were able to find balanced measures necessary to preserve our freedoms.

I have doubled the department’s budget for media literacy. It is our best defence against misinformation.

This challenge of regulation irrigates audiovisual projects.

Take good care of it, dear Frank Riester!

On public broadcasting, it is hand in hand with the managers of the 6 companies concerned that we have completed the scenario of anticipation. The transformation initiated will allow our public broadcasting to become resolutely digital, to go to conquer the youth, and to accentuate the proximity of its offer to reflect all the assets of the territories. I want to warmly thank Delphine Ernotte, whom I have always been able to find at my side in this large-scale work, as well as Sibyle Veil, who joined this tandem to make it a trio that remains one of my best experiences as minister.

On the 1986 law on audiovisual regulation, we have been on the job for months, to lay the foundations of an ambitious reform. The modernization I have initiated will change an outdated, inadequate regulation. It will finally integrate in our model the digital actors, totally installed in our usages, but who still believe they can escape the rules.

This challenge of modernized regulation was at the heart of the media timeline reform and my fight against piracy.

I am pleased that almost all the actors have signed it. I have no doubt that it will be fully confirmed in the coming days, at the same time as the historical actors of creative financing will engage with their partners. They are working on it right now, in a spirit of responsibility that I salute.

When I arrived, professional discussions had been blocked for five years. So I made the decision to reopen the site and engage in mediation, before taking back my own hand, so that everyone can seize this momentum.

These projects are part of our major fight against the robbery of the century that constitutes the piracy of works.

On all these subjects, as well as on the reform of the Bichet law, I was able to count on the constant involvement of the DGMIC and its director, Martin Ajdari. I want to express my deep gratitude to them.

I have often said that regulation is the mother of freedom. I believe in it deeply. That is why, as part of Budget 2019, I have consistently supported the need to strengthen the music sector by creating the National Music Centre. For I am convinced that there are moments to be grasped, as was the case for post-war cinema, dear Frédérique, to establish a vision of a model of society. To strengthen the entire economy of culture.

This society, our society, is nourished by its artists, its creators, who shake and create a necessary disorder, who make our children free of their thought. These artists must be at the heart of the republican pact, protected in their rights of freedom of creation, accompanied by a just social protection for which I fought in the context of the reform of the CSG, notably with the teams of the DGCA and the DGMIC, dear Martin, dear Nicolas, dear Béatrice.

Our creators are also our architects. May they help us to preserve the heritage of today, may they be the creators of the heritage of tomorrow; at the crossroads of societal challenges – I am thinking of all these threads of the “Infinite Places” that were honoured at the Venice Biennale; of the ecological challenge that must be at the heart of all public action, they must cross a new look in our society, that of the "desire of architect" for which I have wished to bring out useful proposals that will come, I hope, nourish your reflection dear Frank


Ladies and gentlemen,

When I leave, I have a regret. Not having been able to fully share my experience as an editor with the government. Discussions with the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life have led to policies affecting my professional life, which was the very reason for my appointment, being outside my scope. If this decision can be justified in law, it highlights a difficulty for civil society personalities to share their experience in the public sphere.

I would like to thank all those who accompanied me on my missions during these 17 months.

Before arriving on Rue de Valois, I already had one conviction: that the regional cultural affairs directorates are the essential armed arms, too often unloved, of a national policy that must be embodied in very different territories. From the moment I arrived, I wanted to get to know them even better, to understand the scope of their missions, to meet the officers, and to make them understand how fundamental their role is. I leave with the feeling of having done useful work in defending them, dear Laurent Roturier, and putting on the job the reforms necessary for their full effectiveness, thanks in particular to the exemplary work of IGAC, the most beautiful and the most efficient of general inspections, dear Ann-José.

I also believe in the team spirit and the need for a good articulation between actors of a policy: a central administration revalued in its role of elaborating policies that are porous to the evolutions of our society, who anticipate with agility and vivacity time and usages; operators fully involved in the ministerial strategy and actors in the implementation of national policy components. To turn one’s back definitively on the trifling tutelage that makes us lose sight of the essential; to walk, within this ministry, in the same step to serve bold orientations at the service of our fellow citizens. That is what has driven my work and that of my office, serving this department and all its agents, and I thank them for their dedication and commitment.

I was able to count on the dedication of all members of my cabinet. They never spared their efforts, under the direction of Laurence Tison-Vuillaume, tenacious and combative. They were permanently on the bridge, in close connection with the services.

Loïc, of all the arrangements to the perfection of my movements, of all the solutions.

Amber then Pierrick, who familiarized me with Parliament, and accompanied me to the bench that I feared a little, and where I am proud to have carried a great text on our civil liberties: the one on the fight against false news. 

Sarah, so young and talented to find the right words for my desire to convince.

Gaël then Marianne, so committed to my side to support me in this sometimes cruel media universe.

Frédérique then Angélique, of all the trips abroad, to defend my vision of an open and welcoming Europe.

Claire then Denis, who were my extension to express my love of artists; my respect for their primordial role at the heart of the City; my desire to defend and strengthen their status; my conviction that creative freedom is a founding privilege of our democracy that I will never cease to carry, wherever I am.

Pierre-Emmanuel, Leïla, of my struggles for an ambitious overhaul of public broadcasting.

Céline, who managed to create a very fruitful axis with the Ministry of National Education.

Philippe, whom Laurence convinced to join the good side of the commitment to Culture: that of Victor Hugo, for a budget of Culture equal to what it represents, its individual and collective effects for our society.

I was also able to count on the wonderful teams of all my daily life: Dominique, Aude, Stéphane and Michaël, Lionel and all his team, Pierre Ouvry and all the members of the firm’s office, not to mention Félix and the others as well as Laurence, Katia, Hafida and Rosita; those who have been by my side day after day, here, on rue de Valois. And our young Alexandre and Pierre-Louis, who have already made their mark.

May they all be infinitely thanked. I take them to my heart.

Dear Minister,

I’m happy to pass on the witness because I know your quality and commitment.

I know how much you love artists, how much you intend to protect them.

You have already shown this by taking your full part in the fight against piracy; by vigorously defending the creation of a National Music Centre.

Gather the energies, the territories, the actors to carry these struggles as you have already been able to do.

Tomorrow, as yesterday, you can count on my commitment as a cultural activist to continue to serve her, and to accompany you in this adventure.


Before I give you the floor, I would also like to remind you, for those who know me, of my great concern, my vigilance with regard to “our house that burns”, an alert that was launched in 2002. There was the hope raised by the commitment of all countries at COP21; and today the anguish with this agreement that States do not implement.

The violence of bad weather, the victims of the Aude, the climate refugees, the multiplication of tsunamis, hundreds of deaths in Indonesia: all these victims are victims of our inconsequentiality.

The solutions that will be imposed on States will come from citizen engagement. I want to believe that.