Monday October 12, 2009
From Henry Samuel at Telegraph.co.uk: Lovers of France's two great symbols of cultural exception – its haute cuisine and fine art – are aghast at plans to open a McDonald's restaurant and McCafé in the Louvre museum next month.
America's fast food temple is celebrating its 30th anniversary in France with a coup -the opening of its 1,142nd Gallic outlet a few yards from the entrance to the country's Mecca of high art and the world's most visited museum.
The chain faces a groundswell of discontent among museum staff, many already unhappy about the Louvre lending its name and works to a multi-million pound museum project in Abu Dhabi.
"This is the last straw," said one art historian working at the Louvre, who declined to be named. "This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours in the context of a museum," he told the Daily Telegraph.
Didier Rykner, head of The Art Tribune website found the idea "shocking".
"I'm not against eating in a museum but McDonald's is hardly the height of gastronomy," he said, adding that it was a worrying mixture of art and consumerism. "Today McDonald's, tomorrow low-cost clothes shops," he said.
McDonald's confirmed that a restaurant will open next month. The Louvre confirmed it will be positioned in the underground approach to the Louvre, known as the Carrousel du Louvre.
The stonewalled gallery was opened in 1993, five years after the famous Louvre pyramid. The Carrousel's initial remit stipulated that its "commercial activities will be regulated and restricted to cultural or tourist activities".
The Louvre has the right to protest against boutiques it considers fail to meet such criteria. However, the museum told the Daily Telegraph it had agreed to a "quality" McCafé and a McDonald's in place by the end of the year, which it said was "is in line with the museum's image". Full Story