In December 2019, the French counterpart of the Meisterrat, the French Craft Council “Les Maîtres d’Art”, celebrated its anniversary: for 25 years, our partner organisation has represented French craftsmen. On the occasion of this anniversary, a ceremony of several days took place at Place St. Germain under the patronage of President Emmanuel Macron. Representatives of the Les Maîtres d’Art and the Masters’ Council developed a varied anniversary program for this event, which was held from December 12 to 15. The event was sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture.
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With panel discussions, exhibitions and presentations by individual craftsmen, the event also functioned as a German-French network meeting of the creative trades. Katja Kleiss and Pascal Johanssen introduced the German scene of craftsmen and manufacturers to the guests from French politics, including the Secretary of State for the Maitre d’Art Florent Kiefer, in order to lay the foundation for further cooperation projects. Discussions already began in 2018 in order to better assess the German and French conditions of the arts and crafts scene.
Concerts on handcrafted musical instruments rounded off the cultural framework of the event. Like the Meisterrat, the Les Maîtres d’Art also serves as a platform for supporting and networking designers, artisans and manufacturers. In addition to numerous French craftsmen, various German manufacturers were also presented. A further highlight of the event was the presentation of a medal of honour to the Meisterrat for outstanding German-French cooperation in the field of applied arts.
Lectures and the participation of the Meisterrat in exhibitions gave the German artists international visibility. Together with Natalya Cholet (French Chamber of Commerce and Industry CCI Paris Ile-de-France), it was ensured that the exhibition concept achieved a decisive political and economic impact. The German exhibition was opened by a lively greeting from the German Ambassador in Paris, Mr. Nikolas Meyer-Landrut.
Paris was affected by a massive strike of the public services, including all means of transport, during the December weeks. Despite these adverse circumstances, it seems that many visitors fought their way to the exhibition and the ceremonial acts to the Place St. Germain.