A Ghost Bike Finds its Resting Place in the Musée de la Civilisation Collections

QUÉBEC CITY, May 2, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – It is with great emotion and respect that the MusĂ©e de la civilisation is adding to its collections the ghost bike from the spot in MontrĂ©al where Mathilde Blais died in 2014. This commemorative object was removed when the group VĂ©lo fantĂ´me, which initiated the citizen movement, won its case. The street design under the Des Carrières overpass and much of Saint-Denis Street has been modified to ensure the safety of the thousands of cyclists who use it every day. The young cyclist’s mother, Geneviève Laborde, and VĂ©lo fantĂ´me co-founders Gabrielle Anctil and HĂ©lène Lefranc presented the white bicycle to the MusĂ©e’s president and CEO, StĂ©phan La Roche, after a very moving ceremony.

Photo courtesy: Vélo fantôme (CNW Group/Musée de la civilisation)

Quotes:

“Like all the objects in our collections, this ghost bicycle illustrates the evolution of our society. As part of the grieving process, ghost bicycle are a sober and meaningful marker of both a loved one’s absence and the context of their passing. They are also strong artistic forms of expression that aim to unite and mobilize people. This mobilization succeeded in informing public authorities of a serious urban safety problem and led to its resolution. As such, this white bike marking Mathilde Blais’ death will forever remain a symbol of progress for cyclist safety. Such a deeply meaningful object absolutely had to be preserved in the collective memory and that is exactly what the MusĂ©e de la civilization does.”
Stéphan La Roche, President and Chief Executive Officer, Musée de la civilisation

“I am moved to know that my daughter’s death will not be in vain and that it will serve to make future generations understand that citizen action can lead to constructive change.”
Geneviève Laborde, Mathilde Blais’ mother 

Highlights:

  • For the families and loved ones of the deceased cyclists and for the cycling community, ghost bicycles are extremely symbolic. Their locations become sacred places;
  • The ghost bicycle for Mathilde Blais was the second to be installed by VĂ©lo fantĂ´me;
  • When this bicycle was removed, eight remained on the Island of MontrĂ©al, one in Mirabel, one in Longueuil and one in Repentigny;
  • The MusĂ©e de la civilisation is the guardian of rich collections of over 225,000 objects that reflect the living environments, daily life, work, knowledge and know-how, leisure activities, aspirations, achievements and the relationships with the world of people who live in QuĂ©bec.

Related links:

Musée de la civilisation: https://www.mcq.org
VĂ©lo fantĂ´me (locations of the ghost bicycles): https://www.velofantome.org/velos-fantome

SOURCE Musée de la civilisation

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