Here’s hoping that Umberto Eco, the Louvre’s latest guest curator, has a taste for Royales with cheese. In what only sounds like a headline from The Onion, McDonald’s will open a restaurant and a coffee shop inside the Louvre next month. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph:
“The Louvre welcomes the fact that the entirety of visitors and customers, French or foreign, can enjoy such a rich and varied restaurant offer, whether in the museum area or gallery,” the museum said in a statement.
The McDonald’s would represent the “American segment” of a new “food court,” and would be situated “among (other) world cuisines and coffee shops,” it wrote.
It added that the franchise owner “has taken the utmost care in ensuring the quality of the project, both in culinary and aesthetic terms.”
Lest you envision museum-goers munching McNuggets while admiring the work of Michelangelo, we should point out that the establishments will be located in the Louvre-adjacent underground mall known as the the Carrousel du Louvre. Still, many are outraged at the planned location of France’s 1,142nd McDonald’s. “This is the last straw,” an unnamed art historian working at the Louvre told the Telegraph. “This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy, and very unpleasant odors in the context of a museum.” Others invoked the ‘ol slippery slope—or should we say pente savonneuse. “Today McDonald’s, tomorrow low-cost clothes shops,” said art blogger Didier Rykner. Too late. The Carrousel du Louvre’s current tenants include ESPRIT and Tie Rack.