The Conseil d'Etat's urgent applications judge ruled that the closure of art galleries to the public, in the same way as most other businesses, was justified by the very poor health situation and the need to limit the spread of the virus.
An association representing art galleries appealed to the Conseil d'Etat's judge for urgent applications and fundamental freedoms to suspend the closure of these galleries. This closure is the consequence of the new measures to combat the epidemic in force since 19 March in sixteen départements and extended to the whole of metropolitan France on 2 April.
The Conseil d'Etat's urgent applications judge today rejected their request.
The judge stated that the closure of art galleries to the public creates a serious distortion of competition with auction houses, which are authorised, by exception, to open, and infringes on freedom of expression, freedom of artistic dissemination and freedom of enterprise.
The infringement of several fundamental freedoms, including freedom of trade and industry and freedom of artistic creation and dissemination, can only be accepted in a health context characterised by a particularly widespread occurrence of the virus in the population, which is likely to compromise the short-term care, particularly in hospitals, of infected persons and patients suffering from other illnesses.
The urgent applications judge considered that the epidemiological situation in metropolitan France was very worrying, with epidemiological and hospital indicators that had deteriorated considerably. The seriousness of the health situation therefore justifies the closure of the art galleries.
> Read French Ordinance Nos. 451085