Ministry of Culture (France)

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Minister of Culture
Ministre de la Culture
Roselyne Bachelot - Narquin.jpg
Roselyne Bachelot

since 6 July 2020
Member of Council of Ministers
Reports to President of the Republic
and to Parliament
Residence Palais-Royal
Seat Paris, France
Appointer President of the Republic
Term length No fixed term
Remains in office while commanding the confidence of the National Assembly and the President of the Republic
Constituting instrument Constitution of 4 October 1958
Formation8 January 1959
First holder André Malraux
Salary€9,940 per month

The Ministry of Culture (French : Ministère de la Culture) is the ministry of the Government of France in charge of national museums and the monuments historiques . Its goal is to maintain the French identity through the promotion and protection of the arts (visual, plastic, theatrical, musical, dance, architectural, literary, televisual and cinematographic) on national soil and abroad. Its budget is mainly dedicated to the management of the Archives Nationales (six national sites and hundred decentralised storage facilities) and the regional Maisons de la culture (culture centres).


Its main office is in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris on the Rue de Valois. [1] [2] It is headed by the Minister of Culture, a cabinet member. The current officeholder has been Roselyne Bachelot since July 6, 2020.


The Palais-Royal in Paris houses the ministry's head office as well as the Constitutional Council Palais Royal @ Paris (34375405432).jpg
The Palais-Royal in Paris houses the ministry's head office as well as the Constitutional Council

Deriving from the Italian and Burgundian courts of the Renaissance, the notion that the state had a key role to play in the sponsoring of artistic production and that the arts were linked to national prestige was found in France from at least the 16th century on. During the pre-revolutionary period, these ideas are apparent in such things as the creation of the Académie française, the Académie de peinture et de sculpture and other state-sponsored institutions of artistic production, and through the cultural policies of Louis XIV's minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert.

The modern post of Minister of Culture was created by Charles de Gaulle in 1959 and the first officeholders was the writer André Malraux. Malraux was responsible for realising the goals of the droit à la culture ("right to culture"), an idea which had been incorporated in the Constitution of France and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), by democratising access to culture, while also achieving the Gaullist aim of elevating the "grandeur" ("greatness") of post-war France. To this end, he created numerous regional cultural centres throughout France and actively sponsored the arts. Malraux's artistic tastes included the modern arts and the avant-garde, but on the whole he remained conservative.

One of France's six National Archives sites operated by the Ministry of Culture, in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine Archives nationales Pierrefitte 1.jpg
One of France's six National Archives sites operated by the Ministry of Culture, in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine

Under President François Mitterrand the Minister of Culture was Jack Lang who showed himself to be far more open to popular cultural production, including jazz, rock and roll, rap music, graffiti, cartoons, comic books, fashion and food. His famous phrase "économie et culture, même combat" ("economy and culture: it's the same fight") is representative of his commitment to cultural democracy and to active national sponsorship and participation in cultural production. In addition to the creation of the Fête de la Musique and overseeing the French Revolution bicentennial (1989), he was in charge of the massive architectural program of the François Mitterrand years (the so-called Grands travaux or "Great Works") that gave permission for the building of the Bibliothèque nationale, the new Louvre, the Arab World Institute, the Musée d'Orsay, the Opéra-Bastille, the "Grande Arche" of La Défense (the Parisian business quarter), the new seat of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, and the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and Cité de la Musique, both in the Parc de la Villette.

The Ministry of Jacques Toubon was notable for a number of laws (the "Toubon Laws") enacted for the preservation of the French language, both in advertisements (all ads must include a French translation of foreign words) and on the radio (35% of songs on French radio stations must be in French), ostensibly in reaction to the presence of English.

Ministers of Culture

The following people were appointed as Minister of Culture of France:

Names of the Ministry of Culture

Since the French constitution does not identify specific ministers (merely speaking of "the minister in charge of" this or that), each government may label each ministry as they wish, or even have a broader ministry in charge of several governmental sectors. Hence, the ministry has gone through a number of different names:


Central administration

The Ministry of Culture is made up of a variety of internal divisions, including:

The Ministry has access to one inter-ministerial division:

The Ministry also runs three "delegations" (administrative boards):

Finally, the Ministry shares in the management of the National Centre of Cinema (Centre national de la cinématographie), a public institution. [3]

The Alliance française is run by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. [4]

Other services

On the national level, the Ministry also runs:

Cultural activities

The Ministry of Culture is responsible for, or a major sponsor of, a number of annual cultural activities, including the Fête de la Musique , the Maison de la culture de Grenoble, the Festival d'Avignon , the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles, the Joconde (online database of objects in French museums), the Base Mérimée (database of listed heritage monuments), and the Maître d'art program.

Further reading

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  1. "Accueil". Ministère de la Culture (in French). Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. Nous contacter: 3, rue de Valois, 75001 Paris
  2. Base Mérimée : Domaine national du Palais-Royal (ancien Palais Cardinal), comprenant Conseil d'Etat, Conseil Constitutionnel, Ministère de la Culture, théâtre de la Comédie Française , Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  3. Go to their link here.
  4. Ministry of Culture
  5. "Missions". Centre national de la danse. Retrieved 18 November 2018.

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