Patrick Devedjian had a secret garden, a passion for 17th century French drawings and paintings. A wise collector, member of the Louvre's board of directors, he surprised his world by his knowledge of this cutting-edge genre. By 2025, an ambitious museum dedicated to the Grand Siècle, wanted and initiated by him, was to open its doors in Saint-Cloud, representing an investment of 100 million euros.
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“It was a unique passion in a great politician, demanding, undoubtedly little media. He had not chosen ease, by embarking on such an adventure, " testifies, overwhelmed, the academic Alexandre Gady, chosen by Patrick Devedjian to be the future director of this establishment. "He wanted to make it an educational place, in order to share with as many people as possible the richness of a major period of our collective adventure," he explains.
Nothing predestined the two men to work together. It was Pierre Rosenberg, former president of the Louvre museum, who planned to give the department his own collection of works of art, who had put them in contact just a year ago. And the complicity was immediate. "Patrick Devedjian had not been a disciple of Raymond Aron for nothing: he had a form of wisdom, hindsight and a deep culture," continues Alexandre Gady. All with that humor that made him irresistible. ”
By setting up a museum in the old Sully Barracks in Saint-Cloud, a site he had saved from disrepair in 2016, Patrick Devedjian intended to make it a new element of the “Valley of Culture” planned in western Paris. "From the start of this adventure, he was fully involved and he followed the progress of what he called his last major project, with an enlightened gluttony, that of a humanist who is delighted to beautify the City" .
Their last meeting, on March 13, took place around a painting by Nicolas Poussin, which a patron is about to offer to the new museum. “How can we forget his enthusiasm and his sweet joy at the sight of this Baptism of Christ? The world of Culture is in mourning ”, regrets the art historian.