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FECHAMOS

 

Fechamos - Gilles Baum & Régis Lejonc - 21 x 33 cm - 36 pages - September 2020 - €15

“Fechámos. We’re closing.” Edson Arantes feels sad. Tonight, is his last day at the museum. The main hall is empty. It has been for years. The museum has no money left, and nobody is interested. Before he closes the museum for good, Edson Arantes gives a few regulars one last night-time tour. During this nocturnal visit, he gives the butterfly collection to Gustavo, the big meteorite to Fernando, the sarcophagus to Bianca and Ana Lucia, and the first man’s skull to Esperanza. Then, everyone takes a dozen bones, taking Maxa the dinosaur with them too.

And once everyone has left, and Edson Arantes finds himself all alone, he lights his only match, throws it on the floor, and leaves. Today, only ashes remain.

Gilles Baum was particularly moved by the fire in 2018 at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, in which 20 million priceless artefacts went up in flames. Fechámos reflects on today’s disinterest and neglect of art, museums, and culture… Régis Legonc’s majestic illustrations bring this poignant text to life.

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Stéphanie Vernet

stephanie@thepicturebookagency.com

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