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In Les Baux-de-Provence, Culturespaces loses the Carrières and the castle in court

2022-11-28T19:21:21.270Z

The Marseille administrative court of appeal considered that the company should return the keys to these two sites it manages in the Bouches-du-Rhône.



The October 31 hearings before the Marseille administrative court of appeal had been unpleasant for Culturespaces, as

Le Figaro

had told .

This company manages several cultural sites in France, including the Jacquemart-André museum, the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, the Château des Baux-de-Provence and the Carrières of the same Provençal village.

Two of its competitors had seized the judges to put an end to the public service delegation agreements linking the municipality of Baux-de-Provence to Culturespaces for the operation, on the one hand, of the Carrières des Lumières and, on the other hand, of the castle.

Monday, November 28, the judgments rendered by the magistrates are particularly harsh.

For the castle of Baux-de-Provence, the judges terminate the public service delegation contract signed with the municipality in 2018. And, from next year.

The exact date will be confirmed in the coming days by the court.

The judges also cancel the public service delegation contract signed in 2010 for careers.

The judges give Culturespaces time to wrap up next season with the programming of the great Dutch masters from Vermeer to Van Gogh.

The company must have returned the keys by November 1, 2023.

Read alsoCulturespaces: the public rapporteur calls for the end of the contracts binding Les Baux-de-Provence and the company

With regard to the Carrières des Lumières, the court considered that the municipality could not, in 2012, extend for five years the initial agreement which was to run from 2010 to 2020, i.e. until 2025, for an investment program additional 755,000 euros, without proceeding to a new call for competition.

With regard to the Château des Baux-de-Provence, the court considered that the competitive bidding procedure which led to the renewal, in 2018, of the previous agreement of which the company Culturespaces was already the holder, was marred by serious defects in the rating of offers leading to favoring Culturespaces, when its offer did not comply with the specifications established by the municipality.

For'

For Culturespaces, these judgments are

“incomprehensible”

and

“will be challenged as soon as possible before the Council of State

.

For society, it is a blow.

She loses two of her windows.

The castle was a key element in its management as a cultural site.

The quarries are the flagship of his eight Enlightenment workshops that can be found all over the world, from Bordeaux to New York, via Paris.

Finally, we will have to reassure the three investment funds which bought Culturespaces for 34 million euros at the start of the year.

Read alsoCulturespaces: from museum splendor to court

“I had to spend fourteen years of legal combat on all fronts with my wife Anne Cobb Montaldo to win my case,

exclaims investigative journalist and writer Jean Montaldo.

This decision confirms what our company Cathédrale d'Images has been saying since day one.

It's the end of the time of friends and rascals, as said Michel Poniatowski, minister of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Sadly, devastated by all these injustices, my wife passed away this year.

She will not have known this victory.

I like consultation and I will discuss it with my municipal team.

We will learn from the past so as not to make mistakes.

Anne Poniatowski, mayor of Baux-de-Provence

For Anne Poniatowski, mayor of Baux-de-Provence since June 2020, the cancellation of these two contracts means finding solutions more quickly than expected.

“These judgments upset our calendar, the case would have arisen in 2027 and we would have started in 2026,

she explains.

However, we will take the time for reflection and analysis.

I like consultation and I will discuss it with my municipal team.

We will learn from the past so as not to make mistakes.

We have two months to seize or not the Council of State.

On Quarries, we have a year ahead of us to decide whether we are relaunching a public service delegation or whether we are taking the site under management.”

If a new DSP is signed, it will be up to the delegate to take over the fifteen Quarries employees.

Implications

In this village of 350 inhabitants, 81% of whose revenue depends on tourism, revenue from the quarries, castle and car park represents 66% of the annual municipal budget.

“A great year like 2019 with the immersive Van Gogh projections, Culturespaces had paid a fee of 1.7 million euros,

specifies Anne Poniatowski.

With Cathédrale d'Images, the best year represented 23,000 euros.”

Both shutdowns are likely to have repercussions on the preservation of local heritage.

“Our village is an eagle's nest surrounded by cliffs,

explains the city councilor.

From the first year of my mandate, we devoted 300,000 euros to consolidate part of the cliffs.

We plan to secure the entire site over ten years.

A second project of 300,000 euros was planned.

Les Baux-de-Provence is an atypical town, without a school, without a crèche but with a lot of heritage to maintain.”

These judgments are not the end of the legal tribulations for Culturespaces.

In criminal matters, the judges of the Paris Criminal Court will render their decision on January 10, 2023.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-11-28

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