It’s a nice political coup. In mid-January, Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, announced the name of the architect chosen to reinvent the Museum of fabrics and decorative arts in Lyon: Rudy Ricciotti, who signed other beautiful things than the MuCEM, in Marseille. The projections unveiled were seductive: a transparent building behind a mineral drape frames the two 18th century mansionse century in which resides this museum born from the will of the industrialists of Lyon in 1864 and classified by UNESCO.
Despite a petition launched by some refractories at the end of January, Rudy Ricciotti speaks “ measured daring, balance between creation and conservation, heritage and modernity “. Behind a glass wall, “A high-tech luminescent fabric will pay homage to the local industry, but also to Jacquard and its loom, to the canuts …” The architect got carried away for this “Extraordinary museum that sank into indifference”.
The largest collection of textiles in the world
Because this is also the “strong signal” of the announcement: Laurent Wauquiez as the savior of a cultural place which came close to the sinking in 2015, when the chamber of commerce and industry (CCI), which was owner, announced that she could no longer finance it. It may well bring together the largest collection of textiles in the world and be the most important museum of decorative arts after Paris, Gérard Collomb, then mayor and president of the metropolis who had just inherited a toxic debt following the merger with the department, had ignored the requests: “ I thought that textile manufacturers were rich enough to do without public money ”, justifies the one who has once again become a simple municipal and metropolitan councilor.
But the elected official had not measured the public’s attachment to this institution: a petition gathered more than 130,000 signatures; two media Lyonnais, Stéphane Bern and Bernard Pivot, multiplied the rants against this ” cultural crime “; demonstrators stood up in front of the entrance … The soap opera lasted for years. The Hollande government rejected the idea of the museum becoming the textile department of the Louvre, which does not have one. Gérard Collomb then Georges Képénékian and David Kimelfeld, who replaced him at the town hall and in the metropolis when he was minister of Emmanuel Macron, advocated the partial dismantling and then the sale of one of the two mansions.
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