Museum gets hot under the collar as French lingerie chain's forbidden video goes viral


Scantily clad women may be popular on the walls of art galleries but are apparently unwelcome among the visitors. The Musée d'Orsay is threatening legal action after a publicity stunt by the clothing chain Etam saw models in underwear running through the gallery's Impressionist collection.

In a video taken last month on a hidden camera and posted to Etam's website, three women throw off their coats, revealing brightly coloured underwear.

The Musee d'Orsay directors were not informed of the promotional video and filming or photography inside the museum is forbidden without permission. The museum has released a statement saying the filming was "a serious infringement of the Orsay's rights and the rights of others".

Guy Cogeval, the museum's director, has demanded Etam remove the video from its website with the threat of legal action. But it has already gone viral, and can be found on YouTube.

The video shows the models outside the museum on the Left Bank saying they are "going to visit the museum, to have a fashion show there". When questioned by security guards the models say they are part of a hen party. The museum has expressed concern that the video damages its reputation by implying that it earned money from the stunt.

This is not the first time Etam has sent underwear models to a Parisian landmark to promote collections. In previous videos the same models in underwear skate at the Eiffel Tower's ice rink and go through security at Charles de Gaulle airport.