Government secretary general Serge Lasvignes was nominated this week to replace Alain Seban as head of the Pompidou Center, a surprise choice considering his background as a high-level French government official and a graduate of the prestigious L’École Nationale d’Administration.
The selection, reported by The New York Times, was made by a council of ministers, on the recommendation of France’s culture, minister Fleur Pellerin, in line with President François Hollande’s strategy of attracting new audiences to French art institutions, thereby generating greater tourism and increasing revenue.
More than 45 percent of visitors at the Pompidou Center last year were from other countries thanks to Seban, who himself had no museum management experience prior to his current position. Last year attendance at the museum was 3.45 million, up from 2.5 million when Seban took over in 2007. He also expanded the reach of the Pompidou Center with satellite museums in Metz in northeastern France and in Malaga in southern Spain.
Lasvignes’ nomination—the subject of speculation for weeks—awaits approval by a government council.