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The Tapestries of Aubusson: The Thread of Innovation

Published on , by Sarah Hugounenq

Could tapestry be an antidote to a territory's sluggish economy? This is the line adopted by the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie d'Aubusson. Four years after its inauguration, the establishment is beginning to reap its rewards.

  The Tapestries of Aubusson: The Thread of Innovation
This is the only model of its kind in France and "its purpose is a little peculiar," to quote its inventive director, Emmanuel Gérard. Lying between the départements of La Beauze and La Creuse, the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie d'Aubusson performs several roles, as a repository for the region's history of tapestry, an economic driving force for the territory, a textiles training platform, a centre of resources and a catalyst for contemporary creation. That's quite a few hats! In the heart of a region short of investment, its inauguration in 2016 embodied great expectations and hopes. The local population began to decline in the late 19 th century and has struggled to recover ever since, making La Creuse France's second least-populated département after La Lozère. Activity is concentrated in the north, while in Aubusson the closure of the Philips factory at the end of the 1990s dealt the final blow to an already fragile economy. Despite the glory days under Louis XIV – when the workshops were granted the label "Manufacture Royale d'Aubusson" – and despite the artist Jean Lurçat and company,…
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