Watching the People watching the Pictures
Originally uploaded by malias.
Every regular visitor to Paris knows that all the national museums are free on the first Sunday of each month. So this includes all the major galleries such as Musee d' Orsay, the Orangerie, Musee Picasso and the Louvre amongst others.
Unfortunately, this means that that the places get clogged up with art deprived tourists and frugal locals. I know that it would be so much easier just to pay the 7 or 10 Euros entry fee and enjoy a more pleasent, stress free visit but sometimes you just get caught up in the momentum. So you ended up straining your neck and standing on tiptoes to peer over a crowd on the off-chance of getting a glimpse of the arse of one of Rodin's statues.
However there is a principle at stake too. In London all the major museums are free. It is believed that the great works of art should accessible to everybody rich and poor and not jut the culture loving middle classes.
Furthermore, much of the work in the Louvre was. shall we say, acquired under dubious circumstances. It seems odd that a Greek or an Egyptian should have to pay to gain acces to view works of antiquity taken from their own countries.
Sarkozy has stated that he would like to make the national museums free in France. I hope he does this before I do myself an injury.