Christophe Leribault appointed as President of the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles

Thursday, February 22, 2024
Christophe Leribault appointed as President of the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles

On the proposal of Ms Rachida Dati, Minister of Culture, the President of the Republic appointed Mr. Christophe Leribault as President of the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles. He will take office on Monday 4 March 2024.

General curator of heritage, doctor of art history, specialist of the XVIIIe century, and member of the Institute, Mr. Christophe Leribault was, since 2021, president of the Public Establishment of the Orsay and Orangerie Museums - Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. He was previously director of the Petit Palais, director of the Musée Delacroix and deputy director of the graphic arts department of the Louvre.

His presidency of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie was marked by the desire to open them to the widest public and especially to young people, notably by creating the «Vacances à Orsay» scheme, a weekly night at 10 euros, a diversified programme of shows, experimenting with original mediations around new technologies (virtual reality, AI, digital art, etc.), and undertaking the redesign of the tour route to make it more understandable to younger generations.

In 2023, the two museums broke their historic attendance record by welcoming 5.1 million visitors (3.8 in Orsay and 1.2 in the Orangerie), but also in fundraising for major projects.

In order to improve the comfort of visiting, Mr. Christophe Leribault has launched a programme of works to ensure the good conservation of the former Orsay station, classified as a historical monument, and to offer a better welcome to visitors. The two museums have also resolutely invested in the ecological transition, particularly in terms of energy consumption and exhibition design.

While the establishment remains strongly represented abroad by the circulation of works and exhibitions, Mr. Christophe Leribault has strengthened his projects in the region, particularly with the operation of the «150 years of Impressionism with the Musée d'Orsay» which, next spring, will see 178 masterpieces of the museum lent to 34 museums in metropolitan France and Reunion Island. He also sought to enrich the collections by purchasing or donating works in the fields of painting but also sculpture and decorative arts, with particular attention to women artists. Thanks to an exceptional patronage, the Boat trip de Gustave Caillebotte joined the Musée d'Orsay in 2022.

Since 2021, the Musée d'Orsay has presented flagship exhibitions such as Munch, Manet/Degas or Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise, and has made it possible to rediscover painters such as Rosa Bonheur and the Lyonnais Louis Janmot, while opening up to major contemporary artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Peter Doig.

With this experience and the results obtained in his previous positions, Mr. Christophe Leribault will continue at the head of the Palace of Versailles the policy of heritage restoration and public development successfully engaged by Catherine Pégard. In particular, it will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of fire safety work on the central body of the castle as part of the master plan that the State has supported since 2003.

Ecological transition, digital revolution, modification of international tourism, evolution of patronage… There is no shortage of challenges that Mr. Christophe LERIBAULT will take to heart to maintain the influence of the Palace of Versailles.

Ms Rachida Dati wishes to salute the remarkable action and achievements of Ms Catherine Pégard at the head of the Palace of Versailles, whose image she has profoundly renewed.

Under his presidency, the cultural offer continued to grow with the opening of new spaces such as the Galerie des Carrosses, the Dauphin’s apartment and, more recently, Marie-Antoinette’s Interior Apartment. Artistic and cultural education policy has been strengthened through partnerships with local authorities. The musical programming has developed considerably to the point that the Royal Opera of Versailles has acquired an international reputation. The result was a significant increase in visitation from 6.1 million in 2010 to 8.3 million in 2023.

The work of Catherine Pégard at the head of the establishment was also marked by an ambitious acquisition policy and by impressive restorations funded with the support of patrons such as the Royal Chapel or the complete rehabilitation of the tank basin of theApollo.

Finally, the action of Catherine Pégard allowed the Palace of Versailles to shine in France and abroad, with the development of many international partnerships including the exhibition «Virtually Versailles» on tour in Hangzhou from May 2, or the preparation of the hosting of the equestrian events of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024 which will give the Palace of Versailles a global visibility.

Stephanie Cime

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Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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