NPR on the Louvre

“MacDo,” as it’s often called here in France, is up against the Louvre.

Can’t help sharing this “feather ruffling” NPR article on the controversial subject of McDonald’s opening in one of the most celebrated museums in the world.

Anyone who knows me can probably guess what my initial reaction to hearing this was (similar to when I learn a tree will be cut down- only a longer, deeper, even more threatened moment of stunned silence).  What makes me sad is the idea that the Louvre, a museum, is becoming more and more commercialized.  It also troubles me that “American cuisine” will be/already is represented by a fast food chain.  That must be why people seem so surprised when I mention that organic products and vegetarianism are quite developed in the US.

What’s your reaction?

3 thoughts on “NPR on the Louvre

  1. A Mc Do at the Louvre? Don’t they already have a Quick?

    Somehow I’m not so surprised. Not after seeing a Starbucks inside the palace walls of the Forbidden City when I was in Beijing in 2005. It has since been shut down, but it proved to me that tourists these days aren’t the same people traveling the globe as they were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. We live in an age where tourism is a commodity and increasingly attainable for an ever-growing worldwide middle class. And thus iconic artisitic and cultural landmarks attract those who aren’t necessarily passionate about art or the Qing dynasty as before and these spaces have thus become increasingly commercialized – it’s less about seeing the Joconde and more about saying that you did. The hundreds of people waiting to file through the Louvre’s holy halls are not always going to search the streets of Paris for a delightful bistro after a stroll through the galleries. To Jeanne Bossieu who thinks that McDonald’s will attract “disinterested” museum goers, the reality is that they are already there.

    Personally, I can’t say that I am happy about McDonald’s global representation of the Big Mac as “American food.” It is a grossly reductive caracature of rich and ethnically varied culinary tapestry. Unfortunately, it just happens to be their global marketing plan to project this image. (There’s a very interesting book that discusses McDonald’s growth and popularity overseas called “Golden Arches East: McDonalds in East Asia.) And I don’t think there is anything we can do to change that force.

    I loved the bit in that news piece about the Ronald McDonald/Venus de Milo comparison in Le Parisien… To me it shows that Mc Do’s caracature is outshadowing just American cuisine or culture and is becoming a symbol of globalisation.

    Thank you for such a thought-provoking post!

  2. Thanks Angie! The Catacombs are sooooooooo crepey! I have a lot of unexplained things in my photos too. I have been there twice now and its definitely a must see when you visit! Jealous that you are headed there next week, I hope you have a great time!

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