Musée d’Orsay To Sue Etam For Lingerie Stunt

Etam guerrilla lingerie catwalk through Musée d’Orsay may prompt legal action

Lingerie maker Etam revealed their naked ambition with a publicity stunt for their spring/summer collection, in which three half-nude shattered the peace at the Musée d’Orsay, running and shrieking around the gallery. But things got out of hand as the video went viral, and now the museum is threatening legal action against the fashion label. 

The video was released on Etam’s website last week without the permission of the Musée d’Orsay. It records the antics of three women, initially in trench coats standing in front of the gallery, who strip down to their lingerie and gallivant around the space like a catwalk, before  fleeing for the exit. It forms a part of a series of stunts organised by Etam to raise the profile of their lingerie brand and encourage Internet users to watch Etam’s fashion show online later this month. Other locations to have been hit include the Eiffel Tower and the Charles de Gaulle airport, with models stripping down in the same fashion.

But, while the witnesses to the event appear bemused at the very worst, the Musée d’Orsay administration is horrified, especially since many initially believed they had OK-ed the happening. It has released a statement declaring that ‘this video, which was filmed fraudulently, constitutes a serious infringement of the Musée d’Orsay’s rights as well as the rights of third parties, and the museum cannot be held responsible for it.’ Amélie Hardivillier, the museum’s communications director stated: ‘I am in charge of filming [in the museum]; such a scenario could never have been accepted, it’s unimaginable’. Worse still, it seems that the Musée d’Orsay president Guy Cogeval is planning to personally write to Etam threatening to take legal action unless the video be removed from the company’s Website and from all other platforms.

Furthermore, the stunt has caused some outrage from internet commentators, with many believing that while such as stunt would be welcomed from an guerrilla art collection, it is unacceptable from a big-buck corporation for the purposes of advertising. It has been problematic also because many have assumed that the stunt must have been approved by the museum, causing bloggers in particular to lampoon the institution. The blog Louvre Pour Tous, for instance, instantly condemned the supposed collusion, asking why it was that the museum wouldn’t allow photography in its collections but would accept the creation of a film of this kind, and concluding that the museum would ‘do anything to fill its coffers’.

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