More than 600 people, including intellectuals and leading historians as Benajamin Stora and Sylvie Thénault, opposed, in an open petition for signature, to "abandonment" of the Museum project on the history of France and Algeria, launched three years ago in Montpellier (South of France).
In a letter addressed to President of the Urban Community of Montpellier, Philippe Saurel, of which APS obtained Saturday a copy, volunteer researchers involved in the implementation of the Museum, a project dubbed ambitious as it usefully and nationally participates in a process of "Franco- Algerian reconciliation which is currently underway", contested the decision.
Protesters, including Georges Morin, president of the Coup de Soleil Association and Honorary Inspector General of Education, and Michel Pierre, historian, former cultural attaché of the Embassy of France to Algiers, who cited a "political waste," believe the fact that Montpellier host a museum devoted to relations with the other side can strengthen its Mediterranean position.
"It also serves as political transnational cooperation of the city, which took the initiative, a few years ago of a twinning with Tlemcen", they recalled, adding that it is a worked-out decision, "without any consultation with project stakeholders or respect for their work."
According to the protesters, 15 million of the 22 million euros budgeted have been involved in the project, of which three million are non-transferable, as used to enrich the collections of paintings, objects and books on Algeria or the contracts with the service providers who work for months on the content of exhibitions.
Against all odds, the new dissident socialist mayor of Montpellier, Philippe Saurel, recently announced his decision to abandon the project of the Museum of France and Algeria, which will eventually become a place dedicated to contemporary art, and without any consultation with the Scientific Council of the Museum.