While its past is rich and prestigious, the city of Roubaix has long been lacking a veritable museum until the opening of "La Piscine" in 2001, housed in the sumptuous surroundings of the city's former Art Deco bathhouse. The success of this establishment is confirmed year after year: receiving over 200,000 visitors per year, its reputation surpasses borders and as such, puts it in the running to change the image of a city pummeled by the economic crisis and relocations.
But hidden behind these figures is a more discrete victory: more than a quarter of La Piscine's annual visitors (or a figure equal to half the city's population) come from Roubaix and, more often than not, come from underprivileged backgrounds. Inspired by this dynamic, the museum management is preparing an extension with, in particular, some new mediation spaces as well as a new exhibition hall devoted to the city's history. It's the occasion to explore the ties between the Roubaix inhabitants and their museum, and to raise the question of whether art can contribute to the fight against social inequalities.