Réception en l’honneur de la Présidente du Musée Guimet Mme Sophie Makariou [en]
le 05 mai 2016 :
L’Ambassadeur de France M. Carmona a organisé une réception à la Résidence de France en l’honneur de la Présidente du Musée Guimet, Mme Sophie Makariou, et de la conservatrice au Musée Guimet, Mme Nathalie Bazin.
Le discours de M l’Ambassadeur :
In the French tradition, I will first name the ladies who crossed the seas to us :
Madame Sophie Makariou, Présidente du musée Guimet,
Madame Nathalie Bazin, Conservatrice au musée Guimet,
Madame Dina Bangdel, scholar and member of the Nepal Art council,
Mr Bhesh Narayan, Director General of the Department of Archeology,
Mr Sagar Shumsher Rana, Vice-President of the Nepal Art Council
Mr Prakash Darnal, Director of the National museum of Nepal
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
It is a great honour for me and my wife Rika to welcome you tonight in the Résidence de France.
Madame Makariou, allow me a very emotional and personal word, since my first visit to Musée Guimet goes back to the 70s and I would never have dreamed of hosting, 40 years later, the President of that lovely Museum in my capacity of Ambassador to Nepal !
Musée Guimet, the French national Museum for Asian arts, is one of the most famous in the world among Asia scholars and lovers.
Other museums, like Musée du Louvre or Musée d’Orsay, are more popular with travel agencies and millions of tourists. Musée Guimet has a different mood.
You can spend a whole afternoon – as I did once more just before coming here - leisurely watching masterpieces without having to fight with a crowd of cameras or smartphones. You have time to read in silence the excellent explanations about the artifacts and their original environment. The Himalayan collection, as old as the Museum which was created in 1879, associates, without mixing them up, masterpieces from Nepal and from Tibet, well located between the India room and the Chinese rooms.
It allows to understand better the singular position of Nepal, the land where Gautama Buddha was born, in the whole region. Thank you, Madame Makariou and Madame Bazin, for providing me with hours of bliss in your old but modernized museum.
But masterpieces shouldn’t be confined to one single place forever. After all, they are heritage of all the human kind and you have the exciting ambition, with the help of Mme Dina Bangel, to gather pieces from musée Guimet but also from the national museum of Kathmandu and others, public and private, in a great mobile exhibition travelling from one country, as one more avatar of the historic Himalayan caravans.
I know you have much more to tell us about this project and my wish is that you will be able to persuade the audience, here tonight and beyond, that it is worth supporting by all means this project.
Thank you everybody for your kind attention, I leave the floor to Mme Makariou.