Will Aya Nakamura, the most listened to French singer in the world, participate in the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games? Nothing has been confirmed yet, but the mention of this simple hypothesis repulses some, particularly on the far right. To the point that the Minister of Culture made a clarification on Tuesday in front of the senators, while she had dodged the question the day before, on the sidelines of a press conference on the French cultural program during the games .

Questioned by senators, Tuesday at the end of the day, as part of a general hearing before the Committee on Culture, Education, Communication and Sport, Rachida Dati warned those who criticize the hypothesis by asking them to carefully weigh their arguments. “Be careful of pretexts,” said the minister. Attacking an artist for who she is is unacceptable. It’s a crime.”

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Without mentioning them by name, the minister refers to the recent demonstrations which decried the idea that Aya Nakamura could participate in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, directed by Thomas Jolly, perhaps singing Edith Piaf, another world-renowned singer. On Saturday, around ten identity activists held up a banner on the banks of the Seine, denouncing the singer’s Malian origins. On Sunday, boos arose at the mere mention of his name during a meeting of Reconquête, party of Éric Zemmour. Tuesday morning, former MP Marion Maréchal, head of the same party’s European list, renewed her criticism by denouncing a choice which, according to her, intends to “represent multicultural France, the France which does not sing French”. “This singer doesn’t sing French,” she added on BFMTV.

Rachida Dati went further in her defense of the singer by responding to those who question the talent of Aya Nakamura. “The choices, the tastes… You don’t like; others like it, she philosophized. Everyone is free to make their own assessments.” The minister probably had in mind the results of the study by the National Union of Phonographic Edition (Snep) on the state of the French music market, just published. “Aya Nakamura is in the top sales charts in 46 countries, it is an instrument of French soft power and outrageous controversies will not change anything,” said Snep head Alexandre Lasch on Tuesday morning, to the applause of 200 representatives. of the French music industry.