International Trade Show for Museums and Exhibitions 1988-1996. From the Grand Palais in Paris to the Venetian Arsenal in Venice.
Salon International des Musées et des Expositions (International Trade Show for Museums and Exhibitions) 1988-1996. From the Grand Palais in Paris to the Ventian Arsenal in Venice. On the 14th January 1988, at the Grand Palais, François Léotard, French Minister for Culture, officially opened the very first SIME, International Trade Show for Museums and Exhibitions, with Jean François Grünfeld who invented, produced and ran this brand-new event. There were three sections: “The museum itself, what it is and what it does”, “Behind the scenes at the museums, the people who keep the ‘machine’ in operation”, “The productions of museums, associated products, catalogues”. This was a first, worldwide: museums were finally able to present every aspect of what they do, their potential, the cultural, political, economic and technical elements. The event was a great success: 40,000 visitors and all sorts of representatives from the media.
1990 – 1992 – 1994
These three editions were the turning point for the SIME. It was now 70% international and had become an unmissable event for new museums and for all European professionals in the sector. Some original cultural events were added to the SIME: presentation of an exhibition on the theme of the artist as a collector, including the Arman collections of Japanese arms, (curator Robert Burawoy), then the African art from German painter Baselitz (curator Jacques Kerchache, collector, creator of the notion of primitive arts and the Musée du Quai Branly), as well as music from pianist Alain Kremski and jazz musician, Daniel Humair and fine food from the Burgundy region and chef Guy Savoy. Between 1990 and 1992, the SIME organised Tourmusé, upon the initiative of the European Communities, with the participation of three tourist boards, from France, England (ETB) and Italy (ENIT). The goal was to highlight the work of museums in tourism. The SIME had more than 60,000 visitors. The international media devoted dozens of articles to the event… But the Grand Palais was suddenly closed the day before the 1994 edition, which was then held under a marquee on the Champ de Mars, in April, in the rain, and only attracted 35,000 visitors.
Invited by the town, the province and the region, the SIME was held for the very last time in Venice. During this last edition of the SIME, the International Conference for Cultural Tourism was held under the patronage of the European Council, the city and the Province of Venice.