Nuclear scare halts major French show

Show of impressionist masterpieces on loan from French museums due to open in Hiroshima has been abruptly postponed

Monet’s "View at Rouelles", 1858, planned for Hiroshima

hiroshima. An exhibition of 84 impressionist masterpieces due to open at the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum on 5 April, with around 50 works loaned from French museums, has been abruptly postponed.

A spokeswoman for the Japanese museum said that the show had been halted by the French ministry of culture, but declined to give a reason—as did the ministry in Paris.

The museum’s website blames “the impact of the nuclear power plant disaster”, while the Japanese newspaper Chunichi Shimbun confirms that the postponement was a result of “fears over the effects of the nuclear power plant accident” at Fukushima.

It is unclear if the French were concerned about the impact of radiation on the works or any staff travelling with them, although Hiroshima is more than 500 miles south west of Fukushima.

The lending institutions include the Beaux-Arts museums in Lille and Bordeaux, and the Chartreuse Museum in Douai.

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