The Contradictions of Désétatisation

Museums in France
  • Françoise Benhamou


Culture is traditionally a key field of French policy. Cultural institutions are heavily dependent on public support, and the most important museums belong to the state. Nevertheless what (1991) calls the ‘Cultural State’ — a state strongly involved in the arts — is increasingly becoming obsolete. French cultural institutions are becoming less bureaucratic, allied with a relative withdrawal of the state. A change of management implying more autonomy and discretionary power for managers can recently be observed in public museums. Some of them contract out specific activities or functions such as commercial or educational activities and human resources management. This evolution goes hand in hand with the search for private sources of income, in a context of diminishing public funding.


Commercial Activity Public Institution Private Firm Cultural Good Impartial Spectator 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

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  • Françoise Benhamou

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