The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is one of many museums around the world that reopened over the summer after a months-long coronavirus lockdown. But earlier this week, the mood was briefly dampened by an alleged attempt by staff at the museum to bar entry for one visitor.
On Tuesday, the Musée d’Orsay tried to refuse entry for a woman who later took to Twitter to describe the incident. In the tweet, she accused the museum of having tried to keep her from entering because she was wearing a low-cut top that exposed her cleavage, allegedly causing multiple workers to ask her to cover up. After putting on a jacket, she claims, she was ultimately able to enter.
“I’m not just my breasts, I’m not just my body, your double standards shouldn’t be an obstacle to my right to access culture and knowledge,” the woman, who goes by the username Tô’, wrote on Twitter. Her post from Wednesday has since been liked more than 14,000 times.
On Twitter, the Musée d’Orsay acknowledged the incident, but did not confirm the specifics of it. “We learned of an incident with a visitor when she entered the Musée d’Orsay,” the museum wrote. “We regret it profoundly and apologize to the affected person we contact.”
In a statement to ARTnews, the museum confirmed that the incident took place because of the visitor’s outfit.
The Musée d’Orsay lists on its website guidelines for how visitors should comport themselves while in the museum. While those guidelines say that “wearing an outfit susceptible to disturbing the peace” can get a visitor barred from entering the museum, they do not specify which clothes are not allowed in the institution.