cultural actors have “the feeling of being the forgotten ones” | EUROtoday

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As the Olympic Games strategy, whereas vacationers will primarily come to Paris to thrill to sporting exploits and a number of the Ile-de-France residents will search to keep away from crowded locations and disrupted transport, tradition is nervous in regards to the concept of 'to be shunned. Anticipating a drop in attendance at cultural venues, as was noticed in the course of the London Olympics in 2012, the sector is organizing itself.

Culture in pressured relaxation? From July 26 and till August 11, Paris will stay to the rhythm of the Olympic Games, in all probability leaving museums, theaters, cinemas and different guided excursions on the sidelines. This is what the cultural sector fears, which, based mostly on the precedent of the London Olympics, expects to expertise a interval of scarcity.

In 2012, tourism professionals within the British capital famous a drop in attendance of at the least 30% in the course of the fortnight of the Games. The British Museum had misplaced 1 in 4 guests, the National Gallery 2 in 5, and the zoo had recorded a 40% drop in customer numbers.

Faced with an occasion of such scale, some Parisian locations have determined to shut utterly, others partially. The pageant season can be degraded, with a number of occasions such because the Summer Vibration Festival and Lollapalooza having needed to be canceled, producing losses amounting to some 180 million euros for the latter, its organizer complained to France Bleu in March final.

As for the guide-lecturers, decisions needed to be made: go away, or keep? Whatever their determination, cultural gamers are conscious that they won’t be the primary selection of vacationers and that they must face a drop in attendance… and due to this fact in income.

Closures, no compensation

“We have the feeling of being the forgotten ones of the Olympic Games,” laments Pierre-Édouard Vasseur, common director of Dulac cinemas. For the Olympic interval, the community's 5 theaters, positioned within the 5e6e11e13e and 16e districts of the capital, will shut their doorways reasonably than open at a loss.

“The drop in attendance linked to the Games cannot be cushioned,” he explains, including that the long run saturation of transport networks has additionally tipped the scales in favor of a complete closure.

“Some employees come from far away, travel times will be extended and we did not want to inflict that on them,” he continues. “It is also synonymous with delays, due to this fact delays in screenings, and due to this fact dissatisfaction amongst spectators. “

If the Dulac cinema network is to date the only one to have decided to close for the entire duration of the Games, others have opted for a reduction in the number of daily screenings. The dilemma posed by this global event is far from only affecting cinemas. Some private theaters had no other solution than to close for the fortnight of the Games.

On the museum side, we also had to make choices, sometimes even if it meant changing our minds with the arrival of more precise directives. This is particularly the case of the City of Architecture and Heritage, located on Place du Trocadéro.

If there was initially talk of a total closure for this place located near the Parc des Champions and one of the temporary competition sites (the Place du Trocadéro will host the road cycling and race walking events), the City of Architecture and Heritage will ultimately remain open to the public (with the exception of three days from July 24 to 27). 100 meters away, on the other side of the Human Rights Square, the Museum of Man has decided to close its doors until August 13, due to security and safety conditions. restrictive access.

In September 2023, in an article in Le Monde, several managers of Parisian cultural venues expressed their concern about the prospect of a drop in attendance. Quentin Bajac, director of the Jeu de Paume (closed until the end of September), mentioned a shortfall of 600,000 to 700,000 euros, the director of the Musée de l'Homme, Aurélie Clemente-Ruiz, predicted a loss approximately 10,000 visitors during this period.

Speaking to France 24, Pierre-Édouard Vasseur said he opted for “the least worst solution” by closing his cinemas. “We started from the percentage drop in attendance that we imagined for the Olympic period – which is around 20% to 25% – and from the reluctance of distributors to release films during this period” , he specifies, adding: “We would have opened if we had had support from the public authorities.”

In fact, neither the State, nor the Île-de-France region, nor the Paris town hall have planned any compensation, recalls the general director of Dulac cinemas. “Cinema theaters are not doing very well at the moment,” he continues, referring to a 12% drop in cinema attendance since the start of the year compared to 2023. “With the addition of the Olympics for the Parisian theaters and the impossibility of being able to trigger compensation from the State, it's quite overwhelming for us.”

Enthusiasm for some, fears for others

“We adapt to pandemics, we adapt to crises, we adapt to the danger of terrorism… We by no means cease adapting. Once once more we’ll adapt and discover options,” says Théo Abramowicz, vice-president of the National Federation of Guides, Interpreters and Lecturers (FNGIC).

On the entrance line in welcoming and caring for vacationers within the capital's emblematic locations, guides should select between diving head first into the expertise of the Games – with all of the inconveniences that this represents – or withdrawing. and are available again when the wave has handed.

A survey performed by the FNGIC amongst its members revealed a sure enthusiasm for the Games, but additionally persistent fears. While almost two thirds of pros consider they’ll work as in different years, a 3rd see the Olympics as an impediment to their work, whereas 10% of the guides who responded to the survey declared that they might utterly cease their exercise throughout this era. interval.

For Maëva Marie-Sainte, guide-lecturer for ten years, there isn’t any query of leaving Paris and placing her exercise on maintain for this occasion that she is going to solely expertise as soon as in her life.

“It depends on how people take it. For me, it's a challenge, so I welcome the opportunity,” she mentioned, confiding her enthusiasm to France 24. “But I understand that some guides are anxious or tired, because it takes energy to readjust, as we have had to do during all the recent crises.”

To cope with the difficulties linked to the Games, notably museum closures and crowded transport, the 36-year-old Parisian chose to focus on the concept she created in 2017: “1 day 1 arrondissement”. This consists of visiting one district per day, for 20 days.

This service, usually offered in parallel with more traditional visits to tourist places such as the Palace of Versailles or the Louvre Museum, will allow him to continue working during the Games – with a certainly more local audience – rather than staying in restricted quarters. where traffic will be disrupted.

“When we learned that we were going to have more French customers, I motivated myself to focus on these visits, which were more protected from the Olympics,” she explains. “It’s an opportunity to share the secrets that no one sees.”

But staying to work in the Olympic city is often more difficult to envisage for guides who do not live in Paris itself. This is the case of Céline Ridard, 53 years old, guide since 2011.

“In view of what is coming, it is better to stay away,” she says from the east of Île-de-France, where she lives and where she has decided to practice her profession throughout the period of the Games to avoid crowds in the streets, tourist sites and transport, as well as a risk of attack which she says she fears.

“I'm apprehensive. So I most well-liked to offer my availability to vacationer workplaces in Seine-et-Marne reasonably than dashing to Paris and ruining my well being.”

Commented cruises on the Marne, walks along the largest river in France, the main tributary of the Seine, visits to the Esplanade des Religions in Bussy-Saint-Georges… Céline Ridard, who says she has “all the time denied to solely do Versailles and the Louvre”, is enthusiastic about the idea of ​​”presenting the riches of the distant suburbs”.

The counterpart of this peace of thoughts, nonetheless, stays a lighter reservation schedule in comparison with earlier years. “This year, it’s very calm. Too bad for my turnover, she quips. I will pay less taxes next year.”