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A bequest of 5 million euros escapes Strasbourg museums due to municipal politics


After judging the conservation conditions of the works to be poor and in reaction to the announcement of the closure of the city's museums two days a week, a generous donor renounced her donation.

A generous donor has given up bequeathing her real estate estimated at five million euros to Strasbourg museums, after deeming the conservation conditions of the works to be poor and in reaction to the announcement of the closure of the city's museums for two days by week.

“My decision is irrevocable

,” said Marie-Claire Ballabio by telephone to AFP on Thursday, from Biarritz where she is retiring.

After making a first donation of collections of old paintings and drawings to Strasbourg museums in 2019, estimated at five million euros, the 79-year-old art lover had the capital deleted from her will on Monday. Alsatian, as revealed

by La Tribune de l'Art


Read alsoIn Strasbourg, the green municipality puts culture at risk

The septuagenarian, who made a career in insurance, intended to sell her home on the Atlantic coast and land in Rambouillet to the museums of Strasbourg, before changing her mind, considering herself


by the conservation conditions of her first legacy in the Palais Rohan, which houses the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts.

"They do not have the technical installation to keep the temperature constant at 19 degrees

," said Ms. Ballabio, alerted by relatives in early August visiting the museum at the height of the heat wave.

"The works are not afraid of high heat in themselves, they are afraid of sudden variations, thermal, or relative humidity"

, explained to AFP Paul Lang, director of the museums of the City of Strasbourg.

The latter recalls that the works bequeathed by Mrs. Ballabio, ranging from the Renaissance to the 19th century,

"were previously kept in a villa by the sea, with a high level of humidity"

which was not ideal.

"We restored them, and since they have been with us they have been absolutely stable

," he added, regretting Marie-Claire Ballabio's decision.

"The city was universal legatee and we would have created an endowment fund at death, which could have been used to buy works"

, he further explained about the stolen inheritance.

This donor claims to have made her decision before the announcement at the beginning of September of the closure of the eight museums of the city two days a week and between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., to save staff.

“I do not accept this.

I made a donation so that the works are seen and not so that they are taken hostage and sequestered”, she nevertheless reacted.

The donor refused to give the name of the museum to whom her inheritance will ultimately go.

In an interview with the regional daily The

Latest News from Alsace

(DNA), carried out before the announcement of the abandonment of Mrs. Ballabio's legacy, the mayor of Strasbourg Jeanne Barseghian returned to the closure of museums two days a week, which has aroused many reactions in the world of culture.

The elected EELV seemed to mark a change, speaking of

“the most temporary possible adaptation measure”

, with the objective of

“expanding the amplitude”

of the schedule.

"The town hall had to act urgently given the budgetary situation, but we will find other solutions"

, explained the municipality, affirming that a

"working group"

had been created

"to reopen at the beginning of 2023 six days on seven, with different time spans”


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-09-29

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News/Politics 2022-10-25T06:50:36.344Z

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