Monday, March 4, 2024

Koons Exhibition Faces ‘Catholic Monarchist’ Opposition

With Jeff Koons’ Château de Versailles show set to open tomorrow, the French are complaining that the Koons paraphernalia will “cheapen” Versailles: a Disneyification of it if you will. There are also allegation that the exhibition poses a conflict of interest:

Rightwingers wrote to the culture minister, protesting that the “sacred” site of Versailles would be cheapened. Then the French media questioned whether the exhibition at a palace that symbolises the French revolution would benefit a billionaire French collector.

François Pinault, whose business empire includes Gucci and the Christie’s auction house, is one of the most influential private collectors in the modern art world. Alongside several other private collectors, he is a key patron of the Koons exhibition, lending six of the 17 works on show, including the giant outdoor flower sculpture Split Rocker.

Le Monde warned of a “possible conflict of interest”, saying that Koons’s first French exhibition would see the value of the works soar, benefiting their private owners. It pointed out that the chairman of the Château de Versailles, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, used to run Pinault’s private art foundation in Venice.

According to The Guardian, “yesterday, the leftwing paper Libération dismissed the conservative protesters as marginal ‘Catholic monarchists’.”

More on this from The Guardian.


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