Now well-known digital museums have spread to the region in 2022. Thirteen more are expected in 2023.

Initiated by the Ministry of Culture and supported by the public establishment of La Villette, the Micro-Funds of the Pays de la Loire were born from a call for projects launched by the DRAC, a financial support from the Prefecture (up to 80% of the investment cost), the contribution of the Ministry of Culture for the cost of joining the Micro-Food network and for that of the engineering mission provided by La Villette to local authorities.

Le Lude, Conneré, Ecomoy, Fresnay-sur Sarthe, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Le Pouliguen, Segré, Pouzauges, Mayet, Mauges-sur-Loire and Laval have joined Océan-Marais-de-Mont, Châteaubriant and Allonnes in this network of digital museums. All are interesting, all have their peculiarities. Whether they are urban, suburban or rural, they are resolutely focused on all audiences in their territory. Focus on three of them, in Segré, Sablé, and Laval.


Micro-Folie de Segré (Maine-et-Loire): a major map of cultural development

Located in the media library, in the middle of a residential area, in the Espace Saint-Exupéry, a cultural hub listed in a former industrial site, The Micro-Foundation of Segré projects on its wall made up of nine screens the major works from more than 120 national and international institutions. « It’s a giant digital collection that’s growing steadily, underlines Noémie Guez, Micro-Food Operational Manager for the Pays de la Loire in particular. Currently, there are between 3,000 and 3,500 works that are accessible. »

As in any Micro-Folie, there are two formulas: the free visit (' the artwork is scrolling and people can see details on a tablet and – especially for school audiences – the speaker mode (“ for which a selection of works on a thematic "). " It is a real tool for arts education and cultural democratization, Judge Colette Romann, Deputy Mayor of Segré. It is an incredible support for teachers, youth leaders or Ehpad. » « Micro-Food is aimed at audiences who do not always dare to walk through the doors of a cultural place, completes the prefect of Maine-et-Loire, Pierre Ory. Where access to culture is concerned, we must not give up. Micro-madness demystifies access.” For the Culture Assistant, This virtual gallery could even be a first step before visiting institutions. It would be interesting for the public experiencing this experience to be able to go to museums near or far and, of course, to Paris ».

In addition, this Micro-Fund reinforces the territory’s cultural and educational policy, for which the DRAC Pays de la Loire is a long-standing partner. ' This virtual gallery is an innovative project that addresses one of our proximity issuessaid Geneviève Coquereau, Mayor of Segré. It is an offer of very high quality and open to the greatest number. We very much hope that the inhabitants of the territory will appropriate this digital museum, it would be our greatest reward. »


In Sablé-sur-Sarthe, the transfigured Carnot Palace

It could only be done there. The venue was there. We wanted to keep the identity of cinema, because it is an emblematic place in the history of Sablé-sur-Sarthe. » Manuela Gourichon, Deputy Mayor of Sablé, in charge of culture, honours the Carnot Palace, a former cinema that now houses the city’s Micro-Cinema. The logo of the Palace has been redesigned in pixel mode, the reception and mediation hall completely renovated, decorated by Wide, street art artist: it was no less necessary to open this digital art gallery in the center of the city.

Like its sisters, about ten of whom are currently living in the Pays de la Loire, this Micro-madness puts several thousand masterpieces preserved in many national institutions and museums at the disposal, free of charge, of the inhabitants, on-screen, and helps to revitalize the city centre, increase its activity and outreach. As such, it is included in the Core Action Programme.

It also fosters the desire to develop cultural action with the public in the territory and its close communes within a radius of 30 km. No one is forgotten: the schoolchildren and the inhabitants of the two political districts of the city, seniors, local workers and tourists, with the goal of culture for all.

The goal is to bring the public together around these contents, and thus reconcile them with museums ” says Gourichon. In addition to its slide shows on the cinema’s giant screen and its digital tablets that offer many additional content, the equipment also offers a virtual reality space that gives access to cultural content offered by Arte, as an immersion in works of art such as The Water lilies of Monet, an ascent of Mont Blanc or a reconstruction of the eruption of Vesuvius at Pompeii. « It is a device that aims to reconcile the public with the present culture. This concept of a digital museum, by bringing this content to people who do not go to museums, offers a chance to give them the desire to go there. »


Micro-madness of Laval: the digital showcase of the «Forty»

In Laval, nothing could be better than a Micro-Fund to complete the cultural offer of the Forty, an old Art Deco-style building dating from the 1940s, now rehabilitated as a hybrid and singular third-place, with a garden, a café, a library, and everything you need for music, theatre, dance and visual arts in terms of teaching, artistic creation and cultural development.

At the entrance of the site, the Micro-Food will be the showcase of digital put at the service of culture. Dedicated to visual arts and heritage, it will be based on the local contract for arts and cultural education (CLEA) and will thus be open to all audiences, especially young people.

For Laval, explains Florian Bercault, mayor of Laval and president of Laval agglomeration, which is both the city of naive and singular artss and the capital of virtual and augmented reality, it was natural to host a Micro-Foundation, and to link it to the collections of the Museums of the city, so that mediation actions related to digitized works enter into dialogue with exhibitions of «physical» works, from the collections Fine Arts, Singular arts and Scientists of the City of Laval.

Inscribed in the Forty, Micro-folie shares its space with a media library, creating a real family and warm living room.  It is also deployed on the territory of the agglomeration in mobile version, in order to meet the public. It is a valuable tool in our cultural policy for all. »

Le Quarante et sa Micro-folie was inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Republic on 10 October 2022.