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French Artists Send a Strongly Worded Open Letter to Right Wing Politician Marine Le Pen

On Monday a group of artists published an open letter addressed to the president of France’s far right political party, the National Front, in Le Monde. The letter comes a few days before the first round of regional elections in France and is a response to a letter that Le Pen herself addressed to the artists in her district.

The letter is signed by more than 650 artists, among them Christian Boltanski, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Daniel Buren, Valérie Jouve, Bertrand Lavier, Annette Messager, and Martial Raysse.

"Don’t think that because you took up your pen to address artists a few days after terrorist attacks that struck our core values and lifestyle that we have any illusions about your intentions towards us. Everything between you and us is incompatible, and only traitors and fools will believe for a moment that creative freedom has any meaning for your political party. Do not imagine for a second that we are not aware that our society suffers from terrible morale and that the victims of November 13 demand justice. However, whereas you think we need to ‘clean up’ our country and find courage by closing doors and windows, we believe, in contrast, that we have to open them in order to bring air to the troubled souls that see, in you, a remedy. We work and create in France as well as elsewhere, the liberty of creation is first of all an openness towards others—those who are not me, but who are equal to me, no matter what the color of their skin, their nationality, or their religion.”