‘I want to attract Asian philanthropy’

History PhD and heritage curator Yannick Lintz, 59, took first placeWell In November 2022, Sophie Makariou will take over as Director of the Musée National d’Art d’Asian, Paris-Guimet, following her appointment as Head of the Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre Museum. To meet the challenges facing the business, it plans to forge partnerships with Asian countries and court wealthy clients.

You have been appointed Director of the Guimet Museum in November 2022. How do you see your new role?

My role here is not to publish scholarly publications, but to develop and promote this museum, the largest museum of Asian art in Europe, at the height of its collection and the challenges of our time. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the Orient for a long time, first the Arabian Orient, then the Persian Orient, then Central Asia – and I’m not completely ignorant!

The current environment weakens cultural institutions. The Guimet Museum recorded 172,000 visitors in 2022, and that’s not enough. Twenty years ago, it housed over 400,000 people. It’s a meter that could be an ordinary meter.

How are you going to achieve this?

This is the first priority of my mission. I expect an upward trend to start within a year. There are different levers to operate. First, cultural planning. We must promote this powerful tool, the currently underutilized auditorium. It is through living culture that we will also be able to reach a wider audience. In my opinion, it’s important to build a real program with regular meetings to help build audience loyalty. Addressing youth issues is my top priority.

Asian culture, especially Korean culture, has a strong interest among young people. Is this leverage right for you?

Yes, both South Korea and Japan have attracted some young French. We are familiar with the immense creativity of Korean soap operas, manga, and Asian cinema and literature. All these living cultures must be brought into the museum to see how they can have a dialogue with the collection.

Also read: “Islamic art is also a French heritage, our heritage”

All museums of civilization are concerned with expanding their audiences by presenting living art…

I believe we need a profound refresh of the museum’s offerings. We can no longer be satisfied with posing works and saying: look at how they talk to each other. In addition to inviting the artist to intervene in the room, the contemporary dimension must be able to reinvent itself.

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