Guy Cogeval, who was due to step down as the director of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris this month after completing his second three-year term, will continue in this position for another year, the French ministry of culture announced on Wednesday, 9 March. The French president François Hollande renewed Cogeval’s contract following the suggestion of the new culture minister, Audrey Azoulay.
Cogeval, who has led the museum since 2008, applied for a third term, but his ability to lead the museum, particularly after suffering a stroke in 2014, has been openly challenged by the museum’s staff. Six curators reached out anonymously to Le Monde
in late January over Cogeval’s possible reappointment, saying “There is no long a pilot flying the plane!” The director responded in an open letter to the newspaper
His new term will end on 15 March 2017. Cogeval will then direct a future research centre on Les Nabis, a group of post-Impressionist artists, which will be linked to the museum. “This appointment marks the desire for continuity at the head of this prestigious institution, while preparing for the future,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The announcement also defends Cogeval’s time at the museum, citing a re-hang of the collection, major renovation work, the merger with the Musée de l’Orangerie and “repeated public and critical success of exhibitions”, including the recent Pierre Bonnard retrospective.