“The exhibition has been waiting for the public for six months, hanging on the walls”: at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and in other major cultural establishments, the staff is working hard to best welcome private visitors of masterpieces. has been working since the fall.
Despite the absence of the public during these long months, this great Parisian museum had nothing of the castle of Sleeping Beauty.
“The closure was a period of intense work for the teams. They remained mobilized whatever the uncertainties to always project themselves into the idea of a meeting with the public ”, explains Laurence des Cars, director of the Orsay and Orangerie museums, a few hours from the reopening Wednesday morning.
“Maintenance and protection were lavished on the works”, specifies to AFP the head of the service of the Régie des works of the Musée d’Orsay, Odile Michel, at the entrance of the new flagship exhibition of the Parisian institution, ” The Origins of the World ”.
Closed since October 30, museums reopen Wednesday respecting the gauge of one person for eight square meters.
In Orsay, in one of the rooms hosting the temporary exhibition “The Origins of the World”, two men carefully re-screw the plexiglass windows that house the objects on display.
Beige pants, green sweater and white gloves, “we are called + the men in green +”, explains Judicael Pabst, one of the employees of LP Art, a transport company for works of art.
“We work in all the museums in Paris,” he testifies. “In Orsay, since the closure, we have continued to ask us to make installations that we assemble and disassemble, for moving or restoring works”.
– “Let’s make it a party” –
The last arrangements are made on Monday under the supervision of museum staff and representatives of the Natural History Museum and the National Library of France (BNF), institutions which have loaned many pieces among the 300 or so in the exhibition.
Marlène Smilauer, conservator at the BNF, examines the very old books on display one by one. And withdraws some copies, presented for months in the empty museum. Very sensitive to light, these works must “turn” between storerooms and showcases.
As for the reception of the public, “there will be no queue in front of the museum”, assures Laurence des Cars. It promises to some 4,000 to 5,000 people that the establishment is preparing to receive each day “a free course and in very good conditions because of the gauges”.
A public who will discover casts, bones, gigantic eggs, sculptures and engravings, paintings and old books … So many heterogeneous zoomorphic forms which retrace how, throughout the 19th century, animal sciences influenced artists.
“The fewer people there are, the more immersed you are,” says Jacques de Tarragon, director of another popular exhibition space, the Atelier des Lumières, in the north-east of the capital.
In this place, the concrete hall of a former factory, the screening of Salvador Dali’s animated works is being prepared. The visits will be made to the sound of songs from Pink Floyd.
The “immersive” exhibition – a specialty of this establishment opened in 2018 – opens in a large room plunged into darkness, to the notes of “Shine on you crazy Diamond” by the British group. “To be god”, then chants the thundering voice of the Spanish painter.
“Our audiovisual teams were mobilized during the closure, to prepare for the future,” explains Jacques de Tarragon. “We already know the program for 2022”.
“People need to get away from it all,” observes the director. “It is an exhibition whose main theme is the imagination and the dream”.
“Let’s make this reopening a party”, calls for her part the director of Orsay and the Orangerie, Laurence des Cars.