The future of the Pinacothèque de Paris, one of France’s few private museums, is in limbo after its parent company Art Héritage France went into receivership in November. The founder of the Pinacothèque, the Modigliani scholar Marc Restellini, says that falling visitor figures and astronomical rents are to blame.
“In the past two years, we have seen a 25% drop in visitors,” he says. “The recent terrorist attacks [on 13 November] have made the situation much worse.” On 18 November, the gallery, which relies primarily on admission fees for income, drew only 40 visitors to its shows on Leonardo da Vinci and Karl Lagerfeld.
In the years following its 2007 opening, the Pinacothèque proved profitable. Located on a corner of the Place de la Madeleine, it held a series of popular exhibitions, such as the Dutch Golden Age, co-organised with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, which attracted 700,000 visitors between 2009 and 2010.
Restellini hopes to restructure the institution rather than disband it. The museum has a 12-year lease on its two buildings and “€6m remaining to pay in rent”, he says. “French law protects us; the [receivership] notice allows us to pause the contracts.” The buildings are owned by the Crédit Agricole bank, which declined to comment.
An offshoot of the Pinacothèque de Paris opened in Singapore in July. The venue is led by a different company and is not under threat, Restellini says.