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France taps museums to nurture culture

France taps museums to nurture culture

Tuesday, February 06, 2024, 11:16 GMT+7
France taps museums to nurture culture
Children engage in an activity at the Confluences Museum in Lyon, France. Photo: Confluences

France is home to a slew of high-quality museums which not only store antiquities but also preserve the country’s cultural values.

The International Perfume Museum, located in Grasse Subprefecture – considered the world’s capital of perfume – is no exception to France’s tradition of developing museums that represent its culture. 

As such, the museum houses a wide range of perfume collections and posts information relating to modern and traditional perfume-making techniques.

Art museums play an important role in keeping culture alive, Olivier Quiquempois, director and curator of the Museums of Grasse, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

“I know that Vietnam has age-old history and art museums,” he said.

“However, I think that it is not necessary to open many art museums in a city. What is most important is exhibiting artifacts as effectively as possible.” 

According to Quiquempois, there are two types of art museums in France – classic and contemporary. 

Classic museums house exhibits and works of art owned by deceased artists dating back to the 20th century while contemporary museums display objects created after the 20th century.

Olivier Quiquempois, director and curator of the Museums of Grasse, speaks at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14, 2023. Photo: French Institute in Ho Chi Minh City

Olivier Quiquempois, director and curator of the Museums of Grasse, speaks at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14, 2023. Photo: French Institute in Ho Chi Minh City

Sharing his experience in preserving France's museum-visiting culture, Quiquempois explained that French students, starting from the age of six, are mandated to visit cultural and art-related sites, including museums, annually with their schools.

This practice is aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of French culture among students.

Aside from these museum trips, French students are also asked to participate in culture-related projects, often supported by artisans and museum employees, so that they can create their own works of art which align with those featured in the museums they visit.

This is intended to kindle their enthusiasm for art and motivate them to revisit museums for more profound exploration.

These field trips and projects play a crucial role in the preservation of culture, ensuring its continuity between generations.

“Over the past five years, the French government has launched the 100% Education Artistique et culturelle (EAC) (100% Arts and Cultural Education Program) to revise the number of museum-goers up by 100 percent,” Quiquempois said.

He said that a component of these efforts includes digital campaigns focused on enticing students through creatively designed museum websites.

These websites feature eye-catching introduction videos and extend offers of free entrance tickets for students.

French museums frequently organize art performances and dances linked to their collections of artworks in order to lure youth. 

“We often arrange tours to museums for students of all ages in cooperation with schools and universities,” Quiquempois explained.

Museums in France also offer customized tours to families and young adults to bring them a gripping experience and exploration.

“I think that Vietnam can adopt these measures to tempt students and young people to visit its museums,” he recommended, underscoring that these measures should be synchronously employed in localities across the country in order to heighten their efficiency.

In France, Vietnam or any nation, museum-goers are introduced to artworks and exhibits by docents. The way of providing information about museums resembles that of giving a lesson or a lecture.

However, many museums in France now offer tech-based audio experiences to visitors.

The Confluences Museum in France is famous for using such methods, Quiquempois said, explaining that the museum uses ‘story cabins,’ which are available to all visitors.  

Each box-shaped audio device allows users to choose three-minute presentations regarding the artifacts on display in the museum. 

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Tieu Bac - Minh Khoi / Tuoi Tre News

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