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PARIS (AFP) - Several hundreds of actors, artists, musicians met Tuesday in front of the Pompidou Center in Paris "to defend the Republic" joined soon by a troop of high-school pupils who were not envisaged with the program but which largely contributed to animation.
Little before midday, Piazza going down towards the entry from the Center counted only one score of people, to which the painters Avigdor Arikha and Genevieve Asse, grouped close to a estrade under a protesting banner "Lives the Republic".
As midday approached and that rows of the artists, creators and professionals of the Culture were still sparse, a
clamor was heard with the south-western angle of Piazza, followed by a surge of young people of the college of Lagny (Seine-et-Marne), held up fists:
"Le PEN, facho, the people will have your skin".
With three meters, Antoine Poncet, sculptor, member of the Institute, definitely less "hip-hop, rock'n'roll-rap" declared: "We all are engaged in this fight to defend the Republic, to defend arts and the freedom of the culture".
Whereas the crowd grew bigger at sight of eye, the Intercontemporain Unit interpreted a part of Luciano Berio.
Then, the president of the Center, Jean-Jacques Aillagon who had called
for this gathering, went up on the estrade, greeted the artists present: Pierre Relieve, Catherine Lara, Claude Lanzmann, Claudia Cardinale, Henri El Salvador, Yves Duteil, Line Renaud, Costa-Gavras, Laetitia Casta,
and Jean-Michel Jarre.
"The culture, says he, it is the division, the intelligence of other cultures. The extreme line did not have cease to fight the choreographic companies, the directors of the centers of art, the librarians ".
"The culture, connected Laure Adler, director of France-Culture, it is the comprehension of the other, the black-white-beur our neighbor or the Indian of Venezuela. It is
question ointment ceaseless, ever raised, a permanent conquest of freedom, ever acquired ".
In the first ranks, at the sides of the actors Andréa Ironwood and Jean-Claude Brialy or of Pierre Bergé, president d' Yves the St. Lawrence haute couture, were held of many cultural persons in charge: curators of a museum, theatre directors or concert halls, critical of art, is some 2.500 people according to organizers'.
A Jacques Toubon ignited defended a "cultural exception marked by diversity, hospitality, generosity", and Line Renaud warned against the abstention or the null vote, "a step towards chaos, the seism".
The final estocade came not from a militant anti Le PEN, but of the vice-director of the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais, Miguel Bastenier, which took part in the gathering.
All, with various arguments, invited "to be with Jacques Chirac on May 5", "even if on May 6, I will not be any more with him", concluded the philosopher Catherine Clément.