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Anne Baldassari, President of the Musée Picasso, dismissed over renovation

14 May 2014

Yesterday the beleaguered Musée Picasso in Paris was left without a president as Anne Baldassari, Picasso expert and president of the museum since 2005, was dismissed by the French culture ministry.

The ministry issued a statement describing ‘a gravely deteriorating work environment, extremely unpleasant working conditions and a toxic atmosphere that was putting staff in danger’. Conditions that have led to a series of resignations making it impossible to reopen the museum in June as planned.

The news follows a series of public attacks and counter-attacks on Baldassari’s management of the museum. Claude Picasso, Pablo Picasso’s only surviving son, has shown support for Baldassari but expressed anger at the French culture ministry for delaying the reopening of the museum, already pushed back several times.

Over the weekend over half of the museum’s 40 employees co-signed an email denouncing Baldassari’s leadership which was made public in Liberation on Sunday.

The minister of culture and communication Aurélie Filippetti offered Baldassari an alternative position (‘out of respect for her research’) overseeing the hang of the museum’s collection, but Baldassari declined. The new president will be named in the next couple of weeks. According to Liberation the decision is between Laurent Le Bon (Pompidou Metz) and Didier Ottinger (Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris).

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