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Musée d’Orsay Accused of Discriminating Against Students from Low-Income Areas

A little more than a year after a teacher accused the Musée d’Orsay of discriminating against a group of students he brought to visit the museum, the Paris institution again faces similar allegations. After a link to a page on the museum’s website describing different rules for school groups from different socio-economic areas was posted on Twitter, the d’Orsay came under attack on social media. The offending clause, which has now been removed, stated that groups of twenty students are allowed from schools in “priority education zones” (a term used to describe schools in low-income neighborhoods that receive more state funding), while schools in other zones are permitted to bring up to thirty students.

According to Le Figaro, two French ministers immediately called upon the museum to remove the “discriminatory clause.” Audrey Azoulay, culture and communication minister, tweeted: “I demand that @museeorsay ensures that it welcomes all students from all educational establishments under the same conditions.” The museum did not delay in complying and the clause was removed the same day as Azoulay’s tweet.

In December 2016, a teacher who visited the institution with a group of students from the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis accused the Musée d’Orsay staff of unfairly reprimanding his students due to racial and class prejudices.