Work Less, Earn More

February 7, 2010By Paris UpdateArchive



French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand struck a blow against censorship last week when he ordered Paris’s Ecole des Beaux Arts to reinstall a set of banners created by artist Ko Siu Lan that it had taken down from the facade of its Left Bank building. The school had removed the banners because they played on President Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign slogan “travailler plus pour gagner plus” (“work more to earn more”) and feared they might damage its “neutrality” as a public institution. The words on the artist’s banners could be read as “work less” or “earn more.” It turns out that the director of the School of Fine Arts, Henri-Claude Cousseau, is being sued by an association because of an exhibition held in 2000 at the CAPC-Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux when he was its director that included “shocking” images of children. In a Feb. 15 article, Le Monde notes that “M. Cousseau has become, in Paris, the censor. A position as paradoxical as it is untenable.”


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