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Nude gallery visit an ‘incredible success’

The Connexion, May 7

Naturists have hailed their first nudist visit to a Paris art gallery as an “incredible success” with a waiting list of 30,000 but only 161 visitors allowed in.

Numbers were kept strictly limited for the closed-doors event at the Palais de Tokyo Centre d’Art Contemporain, which was held before normal opening hours when ‘textiles’ arrived.

Naturists from as far as the US arrived fully-clothed then undressed in a side room before viewing the Discorde, fille de la nuit exhibition. Guided groups of six were led by uniformed gallery staff to see works by such as Kader Attia, Neil Beloufa and Jean-Jacques Lebel.

Later, they had a celebratory drink, naked, on the roof of the gallery that looks over to the Eiffel Tower.

The Association des Naturistes de Paris hailed the visit as an “incredible moment, what a success!”

It added: “Mentalities are changing and naturism is becoming normal. For this visit, we had many young people; delighted women and men.”

Paris student Marta told Le Parisien “There is more interaction with the sculptures in particular. In some rooms where there is music, people move as if they were dancing.

“I was a little scared as a woman. In fact, in this kind of event, the body is not sexualised at all.”

France is said to have 2.6million naturists, with 88,000 in the Ile-de-France, and the ANP, which marks its 65th anniversary this month, has led the way in persuading Paris mairie to allow more naturist events.

ANP president Laurent Luft told Connexion: “Naturism is more accessible to Parisians today than ever before, with our pool and gym three times a week, the naturist zone in the Bois de Vincennes, the restaurant O’Naturel and the variety of outings we organise to constantly pique people’s interest (notably the Palais de Tokyo visit).

“In 2019, we’re even hoping to organise the International Naturist Swimming Gala right here in Paris, in conjunction with the International Naturist Federation.

“France is the world's No1 naturist destination and Paris is the world's most visited city, so it’s only natural that we worked towards opening a public park dedicated to naturism.

“Already at our swimming sessions at Roger Le Gall pool and at O’Naturel, there are foreign tourists every night and the same applies to the Bois de Vincennes, so the City of Paris was spot on when they decided to go ahead with the idea.

“When the clothes come off, all the stress of our daily lives disappears along with any other worries we carry on our shoulders. On top of that, society’s views on the body beautiful don’t exist in the naturist movement.

“People are tired of having to compete with the latest designer clothes and accessories and need at least one part of their lives where they can just be themselves.”

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