‘Journées du patrimoine’ could become ‘du matrimoine’

The Paris Hôtel de Ville - where Joëlle Morel of the Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts party made the equality proposal

The name for the French “journées du patrimoine” could receive a change to also include “matrimoine” - in the name of equality - if a new proposal goes ahead.

Joëlle Morel of the Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts party - elected head of the 11th arrondissement in Paris - made the name proposal on Thursday in the Paris council meeting, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

Appealing to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, Morel suggested that the word “matrimoine” should be included in the lexicon to honour the achievements made by women across history, as well as using “patrimoine” to celebrate those by men.

French “journées du patrimoine” - which translate into ‘heritage days’ in English, and are days on which French culture and history are celebrated nationally - in 2017, it was September 16 and 17.

These days would instead become “journées du matrimoine et du patrimoine”, under the new terms.

“Equality between women and men in arts and culture should also include the revaluation of the heritage of female artists and intellectuals of yesteryear,” explained Morel.

“Our cultural heritage is made up of our patrimony and paternal heritage, but also of our matrimony and maternal heritage. Matrimony is made up of the memory of female creators from the past, and the showcasing of their work too.”

She added: “We are bringing back the idea of matrimony, and the women who form part of it. We are taking back the cultural heritage that some would see stolen from us. Female authors, painters, photographers, choreographers...have always created [art], but they have been invisible across art history.”

Her proposal was listened to by the council, but it provoked irritation among some, especially the leader of the UDI-MoDem party, Eric Auzière, who accused Morel of distracting the chamber with unimportant issues.

“We are all very impatient to hear what their real fight for Paris will be,” he said. “Parisians want us to talk about ‘real’ subjects.”

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