Mona Lisa, Michelangelo, Michallon, err McDo?

Louvre Visitor Guide by Cathy Wilcox

Louvre Visitor Guide by Cathy Wilcox

Somehow this escaped my attention until today – a new McDonald’s restaurant and McCafé due to open in the Louvre next month! It will be housed at the rather dashing Galerie du Carrousel (du Louvre), which I must admit to find hard to imagine how the McDo fits in, as claimed by museum spokeperson.

According to London Telegraph :

… the museum told the Daily Telegraph it had agreed to a “quality” McCafé and a McDonald’s in place by the end of the year, which it said was “is in line with the museum’s image”.

“The Louvre welcomes the fact that the entirety of visitors and customers, French or foreign, can enjoy such a rich and varied restaurant offer, whether in the museum area or gallery,” the museum said in a statement.

The McDonald’s would represent the “American segment” of a new “food court”, and would be situated “among (other) world cuisines and coffee shops,” it wrote.

It added that the franchise owner “has taken the utmost care in ensuring the quality of the project, both in culinary and aesthetic terms”.

Riiiiiiiight.

How?

Seriously, how does a fast-food restaurant fit in the image of a world class museum AND a former palace? This is not just about McDo. Had this been Quick or any other fast-food chain, I’m still going to think along the line “goodness, this is blasphemous!”.

For so long, the boutiques at the Carrousel du Louvre have been mainly home and beauty products, newsagents, watch shop and the likes. The divergence into fast-food is pretty stretched, in order to have common ground. (I have never been all that pleased with Autogrill that’s currently there either but that’s another story.)

Moreover, why would fast-food be promoted in this day and age within a cultural centre when obesity is a global problem? The bottom-line is profit margin I guess. Feed the masses, herd them in and out quickly, make it self-service so less employees are needed (I believe premium space like Louvre should be awarded only if there are job created and maintained) etc.

I can’t help but feel, this is a dark day for arts and culture, and well-being.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mike Licht (unregistered) on October 9th, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
  2. Lil (lilianl) on October 9th, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

    Hi Mike, nice article and really cool illustration!

    Sadly, yes re the sushi shop. And there’s even a pastry shop (Ragueneau – La Pâtisserie du Louvre). All situated at the mezzanine level where McDo will be located too.

    I realise traditionally most large museums would have a cafe or restaurant of some sort. I guess it’s the fast-food chain part that bothers me the most. As I mentioned, even a Quick there would not have been something I’d welcome to Louvre.



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