Lau­rence Ch­es­neau-dupin

La Cité du Vin

Bordeaux Wine Trip - - Bordeaux Wine Routes Portrait -

What is your assess­ment of the Cité du Vin af­ter one year since its open­ing? LC:

The Cité du Vin has well and truly took off in terms of vis­i­tors. In 2016 alone- so that’s dur­ing its first seven months- there were al­most 270,000 vis­i­tors, and that’s just in the parts which are open to pay­ing vis­i­tors. Then you have to add on the free-to-ac­cess ar­eas (the shop, the read­ing room, the gar­dens, etc.) and the restau­rants. We are es­pe­cially pleased that the pub­lic has taken not only to the Cité’s per­ma­nent at­trac­tions, but to the work­shops, con­fer­ences, de­bates and shows that we of­fer as well.

Among the var­i­ous at­trac­tions that are on of­fer at the Cité, how should vis­i­tors or­gan­ise their time? LC:

Every­body has their in­ter­ests, and the Cité is de­signed with this in mind. Ex­plor­ing the build­ing, vis­it­ing its main at­trac­tion and its belvedere can eas­ily be done in half a day. Nev­er­the­less, the fact that there are 10 hours of con­tent ex­plains why the an­nual sub­scrip­tion can be use­ful; it al­lows you to come and go as you please, while giv­ing you priv­i­leged ac­cess to our cul­tural events. If you have a whole day to fill then there is al­ways the op­tion of a work­shop and tak­ing a mo­ment to re­lax in the restau­rants or the wine bar, and that’s just an ex­am­ple.

How do you find ways of re­new­ing the cul­tural as­pect of the Cité? LC:

Tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions are one of the pil­lars of the cul­tural pol­icy of the Cité du Vin, they are what al­low us to reg­u­larly re­new our cul­tural of­fer­ing. Un­til 21st June 2017, the ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Bistrot! De Baude­laire à Pi­casso’ has ap­prox­i­mately one hun­dred works on show that mix paint­ings, pho­tog­ra­phy, draw­ings, cin­ema and lit­er­a­ture. Every one of them evokes the place of bistros and cafés in our way of life and artis­tic creation since the end of the 18th cen­tury. Th­e­ses places were fre­quented and rep­re­sented by the great­est artists, painters, writ­ers, film­mak­ers. They were places of moder­nity, ones where the ideas of friend­ship, love and free­dom blos­somed.

Thir­teen years af­ter de­sign­ing then run­ning the Musée des arts du co­gnac, Lau­rence Ch­es­neau-dupin, a her­itage con­ser­va­tion­ist, now man­ages the cul­tural side of the Cité du Vin. She is very en­thu­si­as­tic in her assess­ment of the cul­tural cen­tre’s first year, which has been crowned by the launch of a large ex­hi­bi­tion, ‘Bistrot! De Baude­laire à Pi­casso’ (“Bistro! From Baude­laire to Pi­casso”); she di­rected the cu­ra­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

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