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Etam lingerie models in Musée d'Orsay
Etam lingerie models in Musée d’Orsay

NUDES -- IN LINGERIE -- AT THE MUSÉE D’ORSAY

Jan. 12, 2012

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Young women running through a museum in their underwear? A fever dream, perhaps -- or a cheeky promotion in Paris, where, on Jan. 9, 2012, the French lingerie company Etam sent a trio of long-gammed models in black stilettos and belted french coats into the Musée d’Orsay, where they stripped down to their skivvies among the world’s most celebrated collection of Impressionist masterpieces.

In the minute-long video, produced by Etam as an advertisement for an upcoming runway show and still viewable on the chain’s official YouTube Channel, the three beaming beauties address the camera outside the museum and introduce their plan -- “we are going to visit the museum, and we have a fashion show there!” one of them explains in deliciously accented English. Inside, giggling like schoolgirls, they cast aside their coats to reveal matching lingerie sets of blue, pink and yellow lace, as delighted onlookers snap iPhone pix.

At the ad’s conclusion, a tagline reads, “ETAM: Did you miss them?” -- a reference to the company’s habit of bringing its wares, and its wearers, out in public for commercials, which it always films at iconic Parisian locations from the Charles de Gaulle airport to the Eiffel Tower.

As for the museum, its policy strictly prohibits filming without permission. Museum director Guy Cogeval has threatened Etam with legal action if the video is not immediately removed from its site, declaring in an official statement that the publicity stunt was “a serious infringement of the Orsay’s rights and the rights of others.”

Do you think he could find a witness who agrees?

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