The Museum in Arras closes for six months to show Napoleon and Egypt

Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656)
The Death of Bethel’s Children
Oil on canvas - 104 x 140 cm
Arras, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : All Rights Reserved

13/7/09 – Museum – Arras, Musée des Beaux Arts – Would you like to see the Cathedral’s Treasure ? Would you like to see Laurent de La Hyre (ill.) ? Would you like to see Philippe de Champaigne or Rubens ? You will have to settle for Napoleon (and Egypt of course, what would we do without it ?). Our readers will maybe remember our editorial of 7 August 2007 (in French, on La Tribune de l’Art) practically word for word and simly replace Arras for Valenciennes as the same scandal has occurred, once again inflicted by the Conseil Regional du Nord-Pas-de-Calais who is known, ever since the Louvre-Lens project, for its love of museums. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras will close for over six months to allow for the exhibition Napoleon and Egypt. The only real difference with Valenciennes is that the permanent collections have, quite fortunately, not been moved. The rooms are closed “for security reasons”, as the exhibition requires all of the museum’s surveillance personnel.
The show had previously been presented at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. It was not a poor one but left no memorable traces. Here in Arras, it deprives visitors of the collections based on the principle put forward by some officials, and too often applied, that these are of no interest. What matters is creating an event. Too bad for museum goers.

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Didier Rykner, lundi 13 juillet 2009

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