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Paris Museum Becomes City’s First To Hold Tour For Large Group Of Nudists

Nudists in a museum. It sounds a little like the title of a risque romantic comedy, but it’s the subject of a real news story that’s been making the rounds. To appeal to the French nudist community, a group of people you didn’t know existed but are sure glad you now do, the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum in Paris hosted a special tour. Being nudists, the more than 160 visitors were given the opportunity to explore the museum in their birthday suits.

The Association des Naturistes de Paris, or the Naturist Association of Paris, enjoyed an exclusive closed-door look into the Palais de Tokyo Centre d’Art Contemporain, a leading art gallery in the heart of Paris. One-hundred and sixty-one visitors were allowed in from a waiting list of around 30,000 and included people from as far away as the United States. Prior to the gallery’s normal hours, the nudist community disrobed and was given access to the Discorde, fille de la nuit exhibition. Included in the mix was The New York Times reporter Thomas Rogers, who humorously described the tour as “revealing.”

Laurent Luft, the president of the Paris Naturist Association, revealed his surprise as to the response to the event posting on the community’s Facebook page. “I was imagining about 100 or 200 people might want to come, not 30,000,” he told Rogers. The surprising turnout is only a small fraction of the number of naturists that live in France. According to the French news website The Connexion, there are an estimated 2.6 million naturists in the European nation.

The tour was the first of its kind held in Paris, and considering France is the world’s leading destination for nudists, it likely won’t be its last. And if you’re asking why people would prefer being a naturist, Luft describes a community where “society’s views on the body beautiful don’t exist.” He went on to explain that, “When the clothes come off, all the stress of our daily lives disappears along with any other worries we carry on our shoulders.”

The public response to the exclusive event has ranged everywhere from incredibly supportive to disbelieving, but a museum tour is far from the only nudist activity people will find in Paris. In December 2017, the city welcomed its very first nudist restaurant, which featured an extensive fine dining menu. Knowing that nudism still isn’t a widely accepted movement, like the museum tour, which was exclusive to nudists, the French bistro prevents gawkers by covering windows with a large white curtain.

As for the perk of exploring a cold (and Rogers did take note as to the chilled temperature) museum exhibit, Vice Chairman of the naturist association, Cedric Amato, stated, “When you are naked, you can concentrate completely on the art.”