Company. The government calls for the removal of murals with sexual connotations in hospitals


A “zero tolerance policy” in the face of “moral or sexual violence against health students”. This is what the General Directorate for the Provision of Care (DGOS) wishes to display, as it specifies in a note. According to this ministerial instruction, hospitals housing frescoes of a pornographic or sexist nature in the duty rooms will have to remove them “in consultation” with the interns, indicates this ministerial instruction.

This note, dated January 17 and revealed by the Hospimedia information site, underlines that “several disputes closed or in progress” targeted frescoes.

Referred to in summary proceedings by the association Dare feminism in the name of “the dignity of women”, the administrative court of Toulouse (south) thus ordered in December 2021 the removal of certain decorations from the duty rooms of the University Hospital Center (CHU) from the city. In 2015, a fresco in Clermont-Ferrand mimicking a gang rape between superheroes sparked controversy, before being erased.

Since then, hospitals have spontaneously removed or modified murals, “sometimes in a climate of opposition from interns”, notes the ministerial document.

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A tradition to which some interns remain attached

Even today, some of the “carabins” (medical students) remain attached to bawdy and grotesque representations coming from a tradition whose origin and meaning are described in several works. And there remain “carabine frescoes” with character sexual in some establishments.

Noting a lack of consensus on the subject, the Ministry of Health asks the hospitals concerned to “organize the removal of all the murals of a pornographic and sexist nature in a timetable which provides for consultation” with the representatives of the interns. In the event of persistent disagreement, the regional health agencies will be able to “impose” the disappearance of these paintings.

Asked by theAFPthe National Intersyndicale des Interns (Isni) is not opposed to these directives but asks “that means be released” to ensure the conservation of frescoes of heritage interest, for example in hospital museums, as has already been does.

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