Appointments France

Next director of France's national museum of Modern art is named

Bernard Blistène earns internal promotion for prestigious post at the Centre Pompidou, Paris

Bernard Blistène

The French Ministry of Culture announced today the appointment of Bernard Blistène as the director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is based at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Blistène, the director of the cultural development department at the Pompidou, will succeed Alfred Pacquement who retires next month after 12 years in the post.  

The head of France's national museum of Modern art is one of the most important and influential posts in the French museum sector. The culture ministry acted on a recommendation from Alain Seban, the president of the Centre Pompidou, but the national newspaper Le Monde called the internal appointment “a surprise”. Blistène was head of Marseilles museums from 1990 to 1996, and the deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne from 1996 to 2002. 

Manuel Borja-Villel, the director of Madrid’s Reina Sofía museum was invited to apply for the position, confirms a spokeswoman for the Reina Sofía. “Borja-Villel was invited by the Pompidou to [join] the list of candidates for the director’s post, but would rather remain at the Museo Reina Sofía,” she says. 

Our sister paper Le Journal des Arts, meanwhile, reports that Max Hollein, the director of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, recently withdrew his application. Laurent Le Bon, the director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, and Catherine Grenier, the deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, submitted a joint application.

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