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word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

PARIS
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word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

Worth thinking about!!!

irishtimes.com/newspaper/…1224329470334.html

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1. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

“The women who smell very strongly of perfume, we don’t ask them to leave.”

I wish they would...then maybe they'd know to apply much less. I don't think they have a clue that they are polluting the air in gigantic areas that remains even after they leave.

Paris, France
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2. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

At first I thought I was reading a made-up story in "The Onion".

What will we see next? Odor detectors?

Edited: 4:36 pm, February 01, 2013
Val-de-Marne, France
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3. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

I heard about it in the news yesterday and actually the thing that shocked me was not Orsay's reaction but the fact that the association ATD Quart Monde had not even thought of offering this family the opportunity of taking a shower and having clean clothes. You would think that is the most basic thing they could do to help people not feel excluded. I think they are the ones that put them in such a humiliating situation. Aside from that, the whole intitiative of taking them to museums is good.

Edited: 4:46 pm, February 01, 2013
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4. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

That's *exactly* what I thought, Mrs. FM.

Val-de-Marne, France
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5. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

At least if the story is even true. It could also be a set up by ATD-Quart Monde to give their charity some publicity. This wouldn't be unheard of.

But I am afraid it's just a case of bobo attitude / people so disconnected from reality that they don't realize what it is extremely poor people need and want. And as much as I love art and as much as I believe exposure to art and beautiful and refined things is therapeutic I am not sure seeing Rodin, Delacroix and Van Gogh is at the top of these people's wish list in life. And it's not as if poor people cannot go to museums anyway, they have free admission already and there are free days for all.

Edited: 5:07 pm, February 01, 2013
Paris, France
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6. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

This was indeed in all of the French newspapers this week.

Paris, France
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7. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

I thought the same thing Mrs. FM. But then I also wondered if it would somehow be insulting to ask the people to bathe before going to the museum. And, why a museum? And, what happens now?

Val-de-Marne, France
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8. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

I thought about that too but it's not about asking them to bathe before going to the museum as much as helping them to keep decent hygiene on a daily basis so that they can go anywhere without feeling rejected.

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9. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

Here is an official statement from the Orsay. Sorry, I had to cut & paste; it seems to have vanished from their FB site.

Le Musée d’Orsay regrette l’incident qui s’est produit le 26 janvier mais réfute avec la plus vive énergie les accusations simplificatrices et les amalgames qui se sont répandus ces derniers jours à son encontre.

Depuis quelques jours, une agitation médiatique s’est développée à propos d’un incident survenu le week-end dernier au sein du musée d’Orsay. Une image totalement déformée du musée d’Orsay et de ses personnels est mise en avant à partir d’un cas très particulier qui est beaucoup plus complexe que la lecture simplificatrice qui en est faite.

Pour la première fois depuis au moins dix ans, alors que près de 4 millions de visiteurs (dont bien sûr des milliers de visiteurs issus de catégories sociales défavorisées) sont accueillis chaque année au musée, un incident s’est produit ce samedi concernant trois personnes qui ont suscité de nombreuses plaintes d’autres visiteurs. Dans ces conditions, une inaction des agents de surveillance sollicités aurait pu leur être reprochée.

De façon courtoise et sans scandale, les trois visiteurs qui faisaient l’objet de plaintes, dont les agents de surveillance ont pu vérifier le bien-fondé, ont été raccompagnés vers la sortie et se sont vu rembourser leurs billets. Dans leur état, ces trois personnes n’étaient manifestement pas en mesure de visiter le musée dans des conditions préservant leur dignité. Il est regrettable qu’elles aient été exposées à ces désagréments.

Le musée d’Orsay est une institution en pointe dans la lutte contre toutes les discriminations. Il mène notamment une action déterminée pour élargir l’accès au musée des visiteurs du champ social, en liaison avec de très nombreux bénévoles et travailleurs sociaux. Un agent à temps plein est dédié à cette fin. Plus de 140 groupes de visiteurs du champ social sont accueillis chaque année au musée.

Mais l’accueil de visiteurs du champ social doit être préparé pour qu’il se passe dans de bonnes conditions, préservant la dignité des personnes concernées. Des sessions de formation sont organisées à cette fin avec les relais du champ social. Les agents du musée reçoivent pour leur part une formation pour qu’ils accueillent convenablement tous les visiteurs quels qu’ils soient.

Les circonstances de l’incident ont été expliquées clairement, à sa demande, à Mme la Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication. Celle-ci a réfuté toute faute de la part des personnels du musée, auxquels le président du musée d’Orsay vient de réaffirmer son entière solidarité.

Le musée d’Orsay poursuivra ses efforts en faveur du développement de ses actions dans le domaine du champ social, en liaison avec les associations concernées, et regrette vivement cette polémique qui ne peut à l’évidence qu’être contreproductive.

Val-de-Marne, France
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10. Re: word of warning on personal hygiene in Paris

I just read in another article that actually the smell came from the 12-year-old son who had a bowel movement in his pants and continued visiting the museum for hours in his stained pants. So if that is what really happened it has nothing to do with the need to shower. According to this article the staff had to approach the family to help them exit the museum so as to preserve their dignity. Even the minister of culture who is the one who initiated these programs sides with Orsay. Something seems fishy about ATD-Quart Monde's accusations and it's a pity because they do great things and this discredits them.

Anyway, none of us were there so we can't know what really happened at this point but it just bugs me this tendency to sue anyone and cause media hype without evidence to make a person or an establishment guilty until proven innocent. As far as I am concerned Orsay is innocent until proven guilty and I very much doubt they are to be blamed for anything.