Louvre, Islam og det trehodete trollet. Om makt og politikk, sekularisme og annet i franske museer

Bjarne Rogan


Louvre, Islam and the Three-headed Troll. On Power and Politics, secularism and more in French Museums.

The reception of French museum exhibitions varies significantly between the French and the non-French public, especially the Anglo-American. This was clearly demonstrated when the Branly museum â an ââ¬Ëanthropological art museumââ¬â¢ â was inaugurated in 2006. The same phenomenon can be observed in the Grand Louvre â Franceââ¬â¢s foremost museum of fine arts. This springââ¬â¢s exhibition on German art in Louvre was considered a scandal from a German point of view. The main case study, however, is Louvreââ¬â¢s new museum of Islamic art, which was inaugurated in 2012. The reasons are threefold: French republican universalism, which claims a French-western hegemony in matters of aesthetics; French secularism (laïcité), which forbids anything religious in public institutions; and French anti-communautarisme, which fights communities based on ethnicity within the Republic. These three mechanisms â or ideologies â steer museum and exhibition practices in a way that is difficult to grasp for a foreigner. And they make the museum a place where power is exerted in a more intricate way than other Western observers are used to, and more efficiently than the public authoritiesââ¬â¢ use of museums to political ends.

Emneord (Nøkkelord)

Museum, Louvre, power, Islamic art, Branly, secularism, aesthetics, universalism



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ISSN 2387-6727

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