<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Pompidou Centre’s economic model unsustainable, says French audit authority

28 April 2024

The Pompidou Centre’s economic model is unsustainable, according to France’s Court of Accounts. The auditing authority published its report, covering the period 2013–22, on Tuesday. Its president Pierre Moscovici told Le Monde that the Pompidou currently ‘does not have the means to finance its development and investment projects by itself’. The institution is under particular strain as it prepares to close the Beaubourg building for a five-year renovation, beginning in 2025, and is also constructing a new conservation and creation centre in Massy, in the Île-de-France Region, due to open in 2026. The costs of both projects have ballooned since they were first conceived, with the renovation expected to require an extra €200m and the Massy extension requiring an extra €142m.

On Wednesday the J. Paul Getty Museum announced that it is returning an ancient bronze head to Turkey. The object, generally thought to be Roman, dates from the 1st century BC to the first century AD. The New York Times reports that museum bought it in 1971 from a dealer called Nicolas Koutoulakis, who is now known to have sold a number of looted items to institutions. The Getty said that its decision to return the bronze was made ‘in light of new information’ provided by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but provided no more details.

A long-lost painting by Gustav Klimt was sold at auction this week for €35m. Im Kinsky auction house described the rediscovery of Portrait of Fräulein Lieser (1917) as ‘a sensation’. The painting was in Klimt’s studio when he died in 1918, but was believed lost until Im Kinsky was alerted to its existence by the seller 16 months ago. The Art Newspaper reports that given the lack of information about what happened to painting before and during the Second World War, the auction house arranged a settlement between the consignor and the heirs of the painting’s subject – who came from a family of prominent Jewish industrialists – in which the heirs have received a share of the proceeds. The portrait fetched four times the previous auction record in Austria, achieved for a painting by Franz Francken II in 2010. An expert from Im Kinsky said ‘Of course we are delighted at the result but not really surprised.’ However, the painting’s relatively low price compared to the £85.3m fetched by Klimt’s Lady with a Fan (1917) last June is thought to be related to the uncertainty regarding its whereabouts in the last century.

The blades of the Moulin Rouge in Paris fell off during the night, reports AFP. ‘Fortunately this happened after closing,’ said an anonymous source from the famous cabaret club that gave birth to the can-can in the 19th century. The first three letters of the Moulin Rouge also fell off the facade, but no one was hurt, and French firefighter say there is no risk of further collapse. The same source said that the windmill mechanism is checked every week and that there are no known technical problems. Jean-Victor Clerico, director of the cabaret, said that there was no sign of ‘foul play’.