Sacré bleu! French rankle at Louvre McDonald’s

Crass American consumerism is coming to one of France’s most revered cultural institutions.

Louvre staff and other artsy French types bristled at the inclusion of America’s most famous gastronomic low-culture eatery at the museum. The new McDonald’s will be France’s 1,142nd, but don’t expect any welcome mats:

“This is the last straw,” said one art historian working at the Louvre, who declined to be named. “This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours in the context of a museum,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Didier Rykner, head of The Art Tribune website found the idea “shocking”.

“I’m not against eating in a museum but McDonald’s is hardly the height of gastronomy,” he said, adding that it was a worrying mixture of art and consumerism. “Today McDonald’s, tomorrow low-cost clothes shops,” he said.

Low cost clothing shops? Oh, non alors! While officials promise that the outlet will be “in line with the museum’s image,” skeptics are- well, skeptical. The restaurant’s location, in an underground approach known as the Carrousel du Louvre, may soon be the first view visitors have of the Louvre when new ticket booths are constructed.

Despite the protestations, France is McDonald’s second largest market globally, and sales were up 11% over the previous year in 2008.