Tribute to Jacques Chirac
It was with great emotion and sadness that the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac learned of the passing of Jacques Chirac.
From the moment he was elected President of the French Republic in May 1995, Jacques Chirac embarked on a study of the recognition and appreciation of non-Western arts. Much more than the beauty of the forms, or a fortiori their modernity, it is another way of thinking, another perception of the world that drew Jacques Chirac to non-European arts.
It is in this spirit, following the opening of the Pavillon des Sessions at the musée du Louvre in 2000, that Jacques Chirac wished to provide the public with a tool to have a better understanding of the world and its diversity, in order to initiate and foster dialogue on key issues that are still relevant today: the history of globalisation, relationships to others and the issue of preserving the planet’s diversity. An international political gesture, the inauguration of the musée du quai Branly on 20 June 2006 demonstrated the full extent of Jacques Chirac’s commitment to peace, tolerance and dialogue between people and cultures.
At the inauguration of the musée du quai Branly, President Jacques Chirac thus reiterated a cause close to his heart: “By showing that there are other ways of acting and thinking, other connections between beings, other ways of relating to the world, the musée du quai Branly celebrates the luxuriant, fascinating and magnificent variety of human creativity. It proclaims that no one people, no one nation, no one civilisation represents or sums up human genius. Each culture enriches humanity with its share of beauty and truth, and it is only through their continuously renewed expression that we can perceive the universal that brings us together.” As an ultimate recognition of his action, the government decree of 21 June 2016 affixed Jacques Chirac’s name to that of the museum, thus honouring the importance of the commitment of the former President of the Republic.
For Stéphane Martin, President of the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac: “Throughout his political career, Jacques Chirac, the modest man that he was, never boasted of his tastes in culture in order to cast a favourable light on his character. For all that, and while cultivating a form of anticonformism in this domain compared to his era, President Chirac proved to be a learned connoisseur of the non-Western arts and civilisations.”
President Jacques Chirac bequeaths to current and future generations a public declaration of tolerance and cultural dialogue. The musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.