Museum of Modern Art: reasons for its closure

We didn’t expect that. On Monday, after a press release inviting you to take advantage of the current exhibitions, we learned, like everyone else, that starting in April, MAMC+, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Étienne Métropole, will be closed for the year. 11. Serious interior renovations are really necessary to prevent mass openings. Here’s which ones and what they’ll cost…

Saint-Etienne Métropole Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. ©JT/If Media

“Communicating with such an announcement is never easy or pleasant. But we had to start warning the public.Marc Chassaubéné, vice-president of culture at Saint-Etienne Métropole, notes. “Come and enjoy the fairs before they close for business”, announced the press release of the Saint-Etienne Métropole Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is open to the general public on Monday. However, it has nothing to do with the measures of the functioning economy, the Metropolis needs to pass due to the explosion of energy costs or inflation in general, because its central city has already begun to settle. On the contrary, we are talking about heavy interior renovation works for 3 million euros including tax.

Because at the age of 35 (opened on December 10, 1987) the building shows the work of time », observes Marc Chassaubéné. A few years ago we remember the huge letters attached to its facade or these black squares that make it up, especially the stalls visible from the A72. Not really the best ad. However, often presented as the small dolphins of Beaubourg in France, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions of the Loire and also one of the “showcases” promoted by the Metropolis of Saint-Etienne. “Estimating works, we have regularly collected hundreds of thousands of euros since 2014.but wants to recall Marc Chassaubéné. For example, waterproofing the roof. But the work we do here is on a completely different scale, even gigantic. »

Security, protection: an important update

Too bad for frequent places that haven’t arrived yet in 2022 – “The complexity of organizing trips reduces the school population” – but is close to the pre-Covid period, at around 50,000 visitors compared to 62,235 in 2019, 28,360 in 2020 and 29,206 in 2021. But Saint-Etienne Métropole has no other choice. From April 11, the inter-municipal body will carry out an extensive renovation of security systems, as well as conservation systems – temperature control, hydrometry, etc. – important for a museum of this caliber. “The standards in these two areas are evolving very regularly. We can’t always follow up every time, but an update was long overdue, especially with insuranceMarc Chassaubéné says. In addition, we are labeled as a museum of France, the collection is national and integral. Cannot be legally sold or destroyed. This is obvious, of course, but the law itself requires us to protect the works well. »

Standards in these two areas are evolving very regularly. (…) An update was long overdue.

Marc Chassaubéné, Vice-President of Culture of Saint-Étienne Métropole.

Do not forget that some of the museum’s 20,000 works, temporary ones related to current exhibitions (300 to 400 per year), are worth several tens of millions of euros. If this was intended for some time, the nature of the work, which after analysis caused numerous concerns (noise, dust) and required holes to the outside, prevented part of the 3000 from being exposed, even if it was rotating. m² of exhibition space. There are not even personnel offices related to this. Floors, picture rails and climate units will actually be restored or even completely replaced. The exterior of the museum will not change. The museum is expected to reopen in late April or early May 2024.

Mandatory reopening in May 2024

“We have to be on time: we have no other choice, we already have a fixed schedule from this periodMarc Chassaubéné says. This type of intervention, which requires long-term closure, is quite common in large museums. The best example is Beaubourg, which has been closed for 4 years. » The transfer of some works of the museum – not all of them are kept in place, a large part is kept in two other reserves: in the Cité du design and in the Metrotech – Jean Laud library (40,000!) works on consultation. started However, Saint-Etienne Métropole wants to continue revitalizing the museum outside the walls. Teams were asked to take advantage of this to meet new audiences, particularly school children or people who are said to be ‘disabled’: people in nursing homes and/or people with disabilities.

Mediation actions that should be echoed in each of the 53 municipalities of the metropolis. On the other hand, “Visitors will also find the museum at the Cité du Design site in the Platine building” For an exhibition that should embody the idea of ​​a National Design Gallery within the framework of the Cité du design 2025 project. Even if it gets the support of the state, something very important should be put on the metropolitan table soon…

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