Musée Picasso President Anne Baldassari Ousted

Anne Baldassari, general commissioner, president and chief curator of the Musee National Picasso in Paris, is seen April 24, 2012, during a media preview of the Art Gallery of Ontario's Pablo Picasso exhibition. (Fred Lum/Photo by Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

No one following France’s cultural affairs will be surprised to hear that the ministry of culture has finally dismissed the president of the Musée Picasso Anne Baldassari.

Baldassari has been working for the Paris institution for the last 22 years, and has served as its president since 2005. In charge of the museum’s ambitious refurbishment project, she has repeatedly come under fire for the many delays that have plagued the construction works, forcing the inauguration to be pushed back from December 2013 to September 2014.

But these were not the cause of Baldassari’s dismissal. According to an article published in today’s edition of the Quotidien de l’Art, a report published by the Inspection Générale des Affaires Culturelles (general inspection of cultural affairs) found that the atmosphere at the museum was so toxic that it created “deep suffering” for the staff and “endangered the employees.”

Baldassari has been particularly criticized for her “inability to delegate,” “brutal management,” and “absenteeism,” the QdA continues. She denies these charges, and told the French broadsheet Liberation she had prepared a 44 page-long response addressed to France’s culture minister Aurélie Filippetti.

Although Baldassari won’t be president for the institution’s grand reopening next fall, she has been offered the possibility to curate the collection for the inauguration “by respect for her scientific work,” stated the ministerial press release.







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