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Musée d’Orsay Apologizes for Barring Visitor For Wearing a Low-Cut Dress

Just your standard vague twitter apology

Credit: Marion Canneval / Twitter

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris tweeted an apology to an unnamed visitor on September 9th.

We have become aware of an incident that occured with a visitor when they were accessing the Musée d’Orsay.

We are very sorry and offer all our apologies to the person, whom we are contacting.  

This vague and mysterious apology is referring to an incident that happened when French college student Jeanne tried to visit the museum. She was stopped when trying to enter the museum while wearing a low-cut dress.

In a tweet that went viral, Jeanne described what happened. She was stopped at the ticket gate before being passed along to a security guard. The officials cited “rules” that barred her from entering. Jeanne said she had never heard of these rules before, nor did she see them displayed anywhere. The BBC also couldn’t figure out what rules the guards were supposedly referring to.

The sanitary rules are on display, the security rules are on display, I have not broken any, the rules which would obligate me to cover myself are nowhere to be seen.”

Jeanne noted that officials avoided ever actually mentioning her breasts, even though attention was clearly fixated on them. They referred to her cleavage as “ça” (that). The friend she was with, who was wearing a midriff-bearing crop top, received no comparable attention or comments.

Jeanne eventually ceded to demands that she put on a jacket before entering the museum. In her tweet describing the incident, she noted that the museum contains many depictions of naked women. She said the officials didn’t see her as person. She concluded:

I am not only my breasts, I am not only a body, our double standards shouldn’t be an obstacle to the right to access culture and knowledge.

Her tweet went viral. The museum responded indirectly with the above public apology. According to the BBC, they did also reach out to Jeanne personally. She said she had no hard feelings about the incident, though she was unimpressed with their public apology. It failed to address the inherent sexism of the issue.

For a more fun version of museums on Twitter, check out what’s going on with #curatorbattle.

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