INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS PETITION AGAINST POSSIBLE PROSECUTION OF MUSEUM DIRECTOR by siamesedream

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									                            PRESS RELEASE
       INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS PETITION AGAINST POSSIBLE
              PROSECUTION OF MUSEUM DIRECTOR
International museum directors, museum curators, art historians, artists and collectors attending
a conference organised by CIMAM (The International Committee of ICOM for Museums and
Collections of Modern Art) held at Tate Modern November 24, signed a petition expressing their
alarm in relation to the charges which have been brought against Henry-Claude Cousseau, 60,
currently the Director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris.

He has been charged in connection with “exhibiting works of a violent pornographic nature,
unacceptable for a young public” and could face a fine and up to three years in prison. The
charges relate to the exhibition Presumed Innocent: Contemporary Art and Childhood which
was held at the Centre d’Arts Plastiques Contemporain (CAPC) in 2000 while he was director of
the Bordeaux museum. The show included works by artist Annette Messager, Christian
Boltanski, Mike Kelley, Cindy Sherman, Tony Oursler, Nan Goldin, Marlene Dumas, Gary
Gross, and Carsten Höller.

The two curators of he exhibition – Marie-Laure Bernadac, who is a curator at the Louvre, and
art critic Stéphanie Moisdon might also be charged.

The complaint was lodged in 2000 by La Mouette, a children’s protection association in Agen.

The petition states: “We wish to express our dismay at this attack on the artistic and curatorial
freedom of expression and offer our unconditional support for Henry-Claude Cousseau in the
present circumstances, together with the exhibition curators Marie Laure Bernadac and
Stephanie Moisdon.”

Conference signatories include; Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate; Alfred Pacquement,
President of CIMAM and Director, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Sheena Wagstaff, Chief
Curator, Tate Modern, London; Theodora Vischer, Director, Schaulager, Basel; Robert Star,
Commissioner of the 2007 Venice Biennale and Dean of the School of Art, Yale University;
Amalia and Dan Perjovschi, CAA/CAA (Contemporary Art Archive / Center for Art Analysis);
Guy Schraenen, The Archive for Small Press & Communication (ASCP); Claire Hsu, Executive
Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and
Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London; Dr. Julian
Stallabrass, Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Neil Cummings & Marysia
Lewandowska, artists; Fumio Nanjo, Director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Ralph Rugoff, Director
the Hayward Gallery London; Elke Krystufek, artist; David EIIiott, Director, Istanbul Modem Art
Museum, Istanbul; Gijs Van Tuyl, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands; Franz W. Kaiser,
Director of Exhibitions, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Netherlands; Elizabeth Macgregor, Director,
MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia and many others.

24 November 2006
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