Immigration museum opens in Paris

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France will today (10/10) open a long-awaited but controversial museum dedicated to immigration, five years after president Jacque Chirac approved the project.

The Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (CNHI) in Paris will pay homage to a long history of immigration, including references to xenophobia in the country.

The contribution from famous immigrations, such as the Polish-born scientist Marie Curie, will also be highlighted.

It is considered a sensitive issue for current president Nicolas Sarkozy, who has come under fire from human rights groups over his tough immigration policies.

Neither he nor the immigration minister Brice Hortefeux will attend the opening.

Museum director Hélène Lafont-Couturier said she hoped the CNHI would allow France to face ‘an important part of its history which it has preferred to hide from’.

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