Frankfurt’s Ethnographic Museum Director Clémentine Deliss Inexplicably Fired

Clémentine Deliss was fired without an official explanation. Photo: Barbara Walzer via Flickr

The controversy surrounding the sudden and unexplained dismissal of the director of Frankfurt’s Ethnographic Museum continues. Last month, the city of Frankfurt unceremoniously dissolved Clémentine Deliss’ contract, which was due to run for another three years.

The unexpected sacking of the 55-year-old Briton was confirmed by the city’s cultural minister Felix Semmelroth on June 9, who called the entire process “extremely unfortunate,” according to Frankfurter Rundschau.

Speculation has been rife since news of the firing emerged. The latest information is that Frankfurt’s municipal auditor discovered evidence of “problematic financial management,” during a review of the institution’s books.

City auditors found evidence of financial mismanagement.  Photo: KFW-Stiftung

City auditors found evidence of financial mismanagement.
Photo: KFW-Stiftung

There have also been reports of a tense and rapidly deteriorating relationship between the director and staff members. City officials reportedly met with Deliss seeking an amicable mutual termination of contract. This was rejected by the director—which, in turn, led to her firing.

In 2012, Deliss suffered a major setback when her proposed €80 million ($91 million) extension for the museum was first postponed because she couldn’t raise the funds, and then scrapped, after a local community group successfully campaigned for the preservation of the museum’s park.

Deliss' plans for a €80 million expansion of the museum were rejected<br />Photo: Weltkulturen Museum

Deliss’ plans for a €80 million expansion of the museum were rejected
Photo: Weltkulturen Museum

Meanwhile, Frankfurt’s culture ministry announced that deputy director Eva Raabe has been promoted to interim director until a new full-time replacement is found. “Continuity is assured,” Semmelroth said, adding that Raabe was more than qualified to take over the directorship.


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