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Containment at Rochefort: no, cultural structures do not turn their thumbs

During confinement, the museums closed doors at Rochefort. The network of media libraries and municipal archives no longer accommodate a cat. The conservatory is surprisingly silent. And yet, behind the scenes, it is bubbling.

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Thanks to IT – thanks to the dedicated service geeks! – the staff are mostly teleworked and connections are made by telephone or videoconference. And there is no shortage of work.

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We work; we apply new methods by existing more on the net, for example; we cancel and postpone; we do, we undo and we redo; a hundred times on the trade, all submit their work. To prepare for the exit, without any additional certainty, hence the need to scaffold several scenarios. And maybe even for nothing… Backstage tour.

At the Hèbre Museum in Saint-Clément

If the technicians plan the technical arrangements for the upcoming events and reflect on a written procedure on the maintenance of the building, the reception staff conduct a comparative study on the suppliers for the museum shop. The tour guides are preparing new tours, for example in the cemetery. In the educational department, we are committed to creating new tools and activities. The conservation team updates the inventory cards in our regional online collections tool and files objects in reserve.

The large and magnificent gallery of the Hèbre museum
The large and magnificent gallery of the Hèbre museum © Photo credit: Dominique Jullian

« This telework phase allows us to do what we don’t have enough time to get started with, » said David Bodin, director of cultural affairs (DAC) at the City. The museum, like all other municipal structures, has not been abandoned. Patrols have been set up to monitor collections, particularly in terms of humidity, as well as buildings, against the risk of theft and fire.

The Touboulic relief plan, masterpiece of the Hèbre museum, to understand the city
The Touboulic relief plan, masterpiece of the Hèbre museum, to understand the city © Photo credit: David Briand

It is also time to enhance the heritage in another way, through pastilles posted on Facebook about works: the Colbert fountain or the Samurai armor for example, without forgetting the current photo exhibition, by Stephan Thieblemont, « Les jardins d’Adraï », private to the public. « We want to talk about something other than Covid-19, » said the official, who announced that the big summer expo with New Zealand artist George Nuku was certainly compromised. Because we must not lose the link with the public.

Museum facebook

City website

At Pierre Loti’s house

Closed to the public for restoration since 2012, it is still under construction even if the works are currently at a standstill. « We were in the installation phase of the scaffolding to renovate the ceiling of the mosque. The companies are being recruited, but all on hold. The current contract will be extended », continues David Bodin who is supervising, with the conservation team , the current condition report for all the objects in the house.

The Pierre-Loti house is advancing on the future scenography
The Pierre-Loti house is advancing on the future scenography © Photo credit: Archives Xavier Léoty

However, the overall project is progressing with the architect, Elsa Ricaud. The scenographer was recruited to replace the decorations of the house according to an ongoing reflection. « We are not late on the diagnosis and during the confinement, we launched a big work on the future presentation of the different rooms. In those which no longer had decor, we will restore the atmosphere with photos and videos , without falling into the facsimile or false. On the other hand, we will go up the Japanese room and the Chinese room. In other empty spaces, we will highlight additional information on Loti, like his works or his small children’s museum. We are also thinking about welcoming the public « , explains the DAC, whose services are also working on the future Loti house website.

For now, you have to go to the City website.

In the municipal archives

Archives officials refine their activity report, which must be returned to the Archives de France each year and which lists eliminations, restorations, consultations, acquisitions, exhibitions and all of the year’s activities. « We have more time to continue the inventory and the indexing of our fund, in particular on the donation of Jean Nonin who had gathered an enormous documentation on Pierre Loti », explains Marina Pellerin, one of the archivists, who reflects with the rest of the team at the next exhibitions.

City website

At the conservatory of music and dance

The twenty teachers from the conservatory and the rock-school were asked to contact families and students in order to make the following proposal: keep the link to launch lessons on video via Skype, send the scores and continue working on his instrument , his scores and dance. History of not leaving the little artists fallow.

At the electro-school where, by definition, we are already very competent in digital technology, this new way of working has already been launched and the link has been maintained from the start of confinement through videos.


In the network of media libraries

« From the outset, we wanted to enhance the digital offer, » announces the director, Olivier Desgranges. Thus, without subscription and for free, unlike usual, everyone can have access to the online platform for streaming movies, concerts of the Philharmonie de Paris, online courses (guitar, yoga, office automation, IT , well-being, sports…), to the magazine and daily press and to digital books of course. One way to break the fractures.

You just need to send an email to mediatheque@agglo-rochefortocean.fr by communicating their last name, first name and date of birth. Registration follows, as well as an email response. « The operation is very successful. As soon as the hour following the launch, we received 200 emails! », Says Olivier Desgranges, who is already thinking about the programming for the end of 2020 and 2021, while promoting the collections on the net and pursuing acquisitions.


In the cultural service of Agglo

« We have a lot of work to redefine actions, but we are going blindly about postponing or canceling events, » said service manager Sébastien Bertinet. For example, in the service of current music, piloted by Christophe Pineau, the work is complicated: we postpone, we cancel? However, we must keep in touch with the artists and turners and continue to work on the territorial project which provides concerts of current music in the towns of Agglo.

The Agglo is taking steps to support the cultural sector, companies, intermittent workers who are all deprived of activity. « We don’t want to leave them by the wayside. But we are thinking about how to maintain certain subsidies, even at festivals that would be postponed; and also to pay artists who had already worked on future projects. »

At the Agglo, it’s also about establishing a future calendar. « We have to harmonize to avoid postponements of events being concentrated on the same dates. For the time being, the first weekend in October brings together eight postponed events … », continues Sébastien Bertinet.


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