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Shady past French ministry defends Le Corbusier museum project


The Cite de Refuge in Paris built for the Salvation Army by Le Corbusier.

(Keystone / Christophe Petit Tesson)

The French Ministry of Culture has defended its support for a museum dedicated to the Swiss-French architect despite his links to the Vichy regime.

A Le Corbusier museum project has triggered controversy in France. Last week a group of intellectuals protested against this tributeexternal link to the famous architect. In an article in the Le Monde paper, nine signatories accused the Ministry of complicity in the rehabilitation of a man who was complicit of fascism and antisemitism.

On Monday, the French Ministry of Culture defended the "exceptional nature" of Le Corbusier's work. It refused to comment on the accusations levelled against the architect preferring to leave it to historians to handle "the legitimate debate" on his complicity with the Vichy regime.

France, the ministry reiterated, had supported, with six other countries, the inscription of Le Corbusier’s work into the World Heritage List in 2016 even though such accusations revealed by several books had already been controversial in 2015.

In 2016, the green light was given for the museum in the small town of Poissy on the outskirts of Paris. It is expected to be ready by 2022 or 2023.


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