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Defending National TreasuresFrench Art and Heritage Under Vichy$
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Elizabeth Karlsgodt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770187

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770187.001.0001

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Museums Fit for France

Museums Fit for France

(p.87) 4 Museums Fit for France
Defending National Treasures
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the reorganization of French public museums under the museum reform law of 10 August 1941. The new law reorganized all fine arts museums in France—the national museums owned by the state plus nearly seven hundred municipal and departmental museums. The law was a key element in the expansion of state control over artistic patrimony during the Occupation and was directly linked to the evacuation process. The postwar provisional government validated the law on 13 July 1945 with only minor modifications. It remained the founding legislation of museum policy for nearly forty years until decentralization initiatives under François Mitterrand's socialist government in the early 1980s.

Keywords:   public museums, national museums, museum reform law, museum policy

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