Palais de Tokyo Patron Is Swiftly Dismissed After Posting a Bizarre Rant Against Teen Activist Greta Thunberg on Facebook
The museum swiftly distanced itself from the patron.
Bernard Chenebault has been fired from his position as president of Friends of the Palais de Tokyo, a patrons group dedicated to supporting Europe’s largest contemporary art center, after he posted shocking comments on social media about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Emma Lavigne, the recently appointed president of the Palais de Tokyo, moved swiftly to dismiss the patron, who called Thunberg—the 16-year-old phenomenon who inspired worldwide climate strikes last week—a “madwoman” and said he hoped that a mentally unstable person might shoot her.
Soon after Chenebault posted his comments on Saturday, the Paris museum took to Twitter to distance itself from the patron.
“We disapprove of these words and dissociate ourselves from this position, formulated in a personal capacity and which does not engage the Palais de Tokyo or the Friends of the Palais de Tokyo,” the museum said as part of a series of tweets. The patrons group plans to meet as soon as possible to elect a new president, according to the museum.
La présidente du Palais de Tokyo, Emma Lavigne, a appris avec stupéfaction ce matin les propos du président des Amis du Palais de Tokyo, Bernard Chenebault. 1/3
— Palais de Tokyo (@PalaisdeTokyo) September 29, 2019
Chenebault, who spearheaded community outreach for the patron network, followed up his bizarre rant with an apology—also posted to Facebook, according to Artforum. “I deeply regret these words that have struck many people, to whom I apologize for the outrage they have felt,” he wrote. “Of course, I don’t call for the murder of Greta Thunberg and ask you to believe that in Facebook’s ‘game,’ my words totally slipped out of my thought and intention. These personal words have no connection with the association of Amis du Palais de Tokyo, nor with the Palais de Tokyo, which I regret to have embarrassed.”
The Artforum report also noted a 2017 social media post in which Chenebault likened a mural by Cameroonian artist Barthélemy Toguo due to be installed at a metro station in Paris’s Château Rouge neighborhood to giving “pearls to swine” and noted the neighborhood’s Muslim population. That comment was unearthed by French journalist Magali Lesauvage, but has since been deleted.
Neither the Palais de Tokyo nor Chenebault immediately responded to a request for further comment.
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