Lyon, the Tony Garnier Museum risks losing its regional subsidy

After removing it and then reinstating it in 2022, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region finally announces that it will not renew the subsidy of €35,000 that it pays each year to the Tony Garnier Urban Museum. Informed of this decision by mail at the end of January, the museum team reacted in a press release on April 2, expressing “his indignation” and his concern about the future of the institution.

The Region justifies its disengagement by the fact that the museum would have a “outreach on a neighborhood scale” rather than a regional scope. An explanation “totally incomprehensible” for the museum. “80% of our audiences come from the Region and our last exhibition focused on five remarkable architectural sites in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes” he objected.

The museum has since relaunched the Region twice, without obtaining a response from its president Laurent Wauquiez, nor from the vice-president for culture Sophie Rotkopf. “We just got a response telling us that our feedback had been sent to the services, and nothing since” specifies Cécile Capelle, the director of the museum, in Lyon Capitale.

If the removal of the subsidy is indeed confirmed, the museum says it risks permanent closure. It receives an annual payment of €90,000 from the City of Lyon and some one-off investment funding, but these subsidies alone would not be enough to ensure the financing of the operation of the museum, weakened by the pandemic and the complete restructuring of its team in 2022. “This reduction means the elimination of a position, but we already have the museum at arm's length. Its shutdown therefore compromises the very viability of the museum” explains Cécile Capelle.

The regional services indicated that they had requested a financial analysis of the museum and that“at this stage, no decision has been made”. It should be made official during the next standing committee, on May 17.

This disengagement is part of a broader policy of “territorial rebalancing” carried out by the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region since 2022, which results in budget cuts of more than 4 million euros targeting around a hundred cultural institutions in the metropolises. Their subsidies have been reduced or even eliminated, like that of the Théâtre Nouvelle Génération in Lyon (withdrawn in 2023) and that of the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival (halved in 2023).

The Tony Garnier Urban Museum is located in the City of the United States in Lyon (8th arrondissement), a district of more than 1,500 housing units built by Lyon architect Tony Garnier between 1920 and 1933. During a rehabilitation in 1988, twenty-five monumental frescoes were created on the walls of buildings. Founded in 1992 and labeled “20th century heritage” in 2003, the associative museum offers an open-air tour of the neighborhood and also has an apartment from the 1930s open to visitors, an exhibition space of 300 m² and a Center of urban interpretation.

The Tony Garnier urban museum in Lyon.

Similar Posts