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Mulhouse Fabrics Museum: after the thefts, a “titanic” inventory


The inventory of the collections of the Museum of printing on fabrics of Mulhouse, launched two years ago after the discovery of "massive thefts", promises to be "titanic", indicated Thursday the team in charge of the site.

The Museum of printing on fabrics (Mise) would have approximately "


" pieces, "

including several million textile samples

", dating from the 18th century to the present day, said Alexia Fontaine, the new scientific director of the collections site. of the Alsatian museum, during an initial progress report.

Figures very likely "


" and intended to evolve as an inventory that the museum had never conducted methodically, added Alexia Fontaine, who will lead this project launched in 2020 for three years. He had was put in place by the State, which had initiated a “

formal notice

” procedure after the discovery in 2018 of “massive thefts” of pieces from its fund, heir to the Mulhouse textile industry and rich in a collection prints unique in the world.

Read alsoThe mystery of the missing fabrics of the Museum of Mulhouse

In addition to this inventory and verification work, this project also includes restoration and digitization actions.

However, it only concerns a small part of its reserves, those contained in the Document Use Service (SUD), which is particularly affected by thefts.

The site has not yet established the number of stolen parts, according to Alexia Fontaine.

In total, the SUD includes “


” books of textile samples, “


” of these samples as well as “


” pieces of graphic art (preparatory drawings, sketches, etc.), she indicated.


570 books

" and "


" pieces of graphic arts have to date been "

diagnosed and reconditioned

", indicated Alexia Fontaine, who could not specify the time required to complete this project.

I am recruited for three years and to finish

”, she however indicated to AFP.

The site is titanic

” and the sums injected by the State, in addition to those provided by the communities, are “


”, underlined Alain Charrier, sub-prefect of Mulhouse.

According to the regional director of cultural affairs (DRAC) of the Grand Est, Delphine Christophe, the State has thus invested 550,000 euros.

The work is at a “

significant stage of progress

”, she underlined. It will also serve to feed the investigation carried out by a Mulhouse judge.

About fifty books that had been stolen were found, including several on a public classifieds site, said Alexia Fontaine.

The case broke out in 2018. To date, only one person is indicted for theft and fraud, the former curator of the museum, Jean-François Keller, who admitted the theft of several pieces.

“The letters rogatory which had been launched by the examining magistrate are now in his office”

, it was indicated to the Mulhouse prosecution, referring to possible “


” to come.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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