Sunday, October 1, 2023

A conservator of Versailles attacks Catherine Pgard, the president of the castle, in court

On Wednesday, September 20, the president of the Palace of Versailles, Catherine Pgard, will undoubtedly make a good appearance during the great banquet that the Elysée will offer at the monument, in honor of the visit to France of King Charles III and Queen Camilla . However, her replacement would be imminent, she writes He Figaro in its September 19 edition.

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Emmanuel Macron would have finally decided to replace her after having twice failed to keep her in office until the Olympic Games. According to civil service rules (an age limit that must not be exceeded), Catherine Pgard, 69, should have jumped ship two years ago. But she still holds command, in an unusual interim, decided in February 2021 by the Ministry of Culture.

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It is precisely the legality of this provisional measure that one of its conservators, Alexandre Maral, questions today, in disagreement with its management, within the framework of an appeal for summary suspension on Thursday, September 14 before the administrative court of Versailles. According to information from worldwhich the Palace of Versailles did not want to confirm, the head of the sculpture department was suspended from his duties in March for having organized private visits and held paid conferences outside any regulatory framework. “Catherine Pgard does not have the power to sanction because she has been incompetent since 2021”says lawyer Emmanuel Glaser, recalling “that an interim position can only last a few months, not the equivalent of a mandate”.

About twenty conferences

The matter, detailed in a scathing five-page decree signed on July 6 by the government’s secretary general, Claire Landais, dates back to November 2022. Surprised by the number and frequency of private visits led by Alexandre Maral, director of the castle, Laurent Salomé, expressed his concern in an email. Despite the warning, the curator continues to organize eight visits between December 5, 2022 and January 15.

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Une enquête administrative, diligentée from January to April, met in luminière a vingtaine of conférences given by M. Maral in dehors de l’Ile-de-France, sans order de mission ni dépôt de jours de congé, excepté pour cinq d’entre they. During his working day, he also organizes paid private visits: no less than thirty-seven in 2022. The remuneration is not astronomical: he receives about 15,000 euros for visits, less than 8,000 euros for conferences. But this is still a deficit for the establishment, which has a public service.

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