The Centre Pompidou is currently exhibiting front covers of Charlie Hebdo magazine printed between 1969 and 1986 in its library, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky. Paying tribute to the victims of the attack against the controversial paper on January 7, this exhibit was rapidly pulled together by gallery staff the following day.
“It’s a common decision of the whole staff of the library, a little sign to show that we are upset.” said Didier Schulmann, director of the library, “The library owns Charlie Hebdo magazines printed between 1969 and 1986, and so we decided to show some of them as a tribute to the victims.”
Such a display would have been unimaginable 40 years ago: illustrators Wolinski, Cabu, Reiser and Gébé sent many caricatures of president Georges Pompidou to print during his presidency. This uneasy historical relationship makes the current exhibit a particularly powerful gesture of solidarity in the name of free speech on the gallery’s part.