January 23, 2022

Macron chooses Paris to host the House of press cartoon

And in the end, Paris wins. After several months of hesitation, Emmanuel Macron chose the capital to host the future House of press cartoon and satirical drawing, intended to support the action of cartoon professionals. A presidential decision which provokes the anger of competing cities, and in particular supporters of the Limoges candidacy, who denounce a “Made of the prince” even before the official announcement, expected Tuesday, January 11, during a speech by Mr. Macron at the end of the afternoon before the Presidential Press Association.

The decision to create a press cartoon house was taken by the Head of State on the fifth anniversary of the attack in Charlie Hebdo, perpetrated on January 7, 2015. “France is always at the side (…) of those who defend freedom of expression ”, had declared Mr. Macron, during his wishes to the press, on January 15, 2020, assuring that the new national establishment would be “A place of meeting, training, exhibition”. “We are a country where the freedom to criticize goes with the freedom to express oneself”, he had justified. In September, the Ministry of Culture released 2 million euros to finance the place.

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After the presidential announcement of 2015, several cities had declared themselves candidates to host the House of press cartoon: Paris, Strasbourg and Limoges – the latter associated with the neighboring village of Saint-Just-le-Martel (Haute-Vienne), where the International Caricature, Press Cartoon and Humor Fair has been held since 1982. A candidate time, Bordeaux threw in the towel after the municipal elections of June 2020, the new mayor, Pierre Hurmic (EELV), not wishing to compete with Limoges, according to him more legitimate to welcome the center.

Practical and symbolic reasons

According to the Elysee, the choice of the capital was not acquired at the start but has imposed itself over the months, both for practical and symbolic reasons. “Paris is the city where the terrorist attack took place. Charlie Hebdo, it is the beating heart of the press and the press cartoon, it is also in Ile-de-France that Samuel Paty was assassinated… There was a symbolic stake, explains in the entourage of Emmanuel Macron. The consultations we carried out showed that this was an important point for professionals. “

The chosen location, a former school on rue du Pont-de-Lodi (6e borough), located in the heart of the capital, also had many advantages, according to its supporters. Unlike other candidacies, there was no need to build an ex nihilo building, as the Paris City Council undertook to sell it free of charge. The Ile-de-France region also said it was ready to co-finance the place. “The budget for the Parisian project is around 8 million euros, against the double in Limoges. The school is in good condition, the site is simpler ”, do we list at the Elysee, where we expect an opening from here “Two or three years”. The annual operating budget is estimated at 2 million euros.

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