High hopes for
’s youthful new minister of
Decentralisation and wider access to culture are high on Aurélie Filippetti’s agenda
By Anna Sansom. News, Issue 236, June 2012
Published online: 05 June 2012
Aurélie Filippetti (right) has been appointed by
president, François Hollande, as minister of culture and communication,
replacing Frédéric Mitterrand. To keep the post she first needs to be
re-elected as the France Moselle region’s deputy in
the legislative elections on 17 June.
François Dournes, a director at Galerie Lelong in
, says: “Frédéric
Mitterrand was a rather good minister but did not have much room for manoeuvre.
Filippetti will surely be better listened to in this government, which places
education and culture at the head of its priorities.” Paris
Filippetti’s appointment is in line with the socialist president’s commitment to “justice and youth”. She turns 39 in June, and is one of 17 female members in prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s government.
Observers are wary of her lack of experience in the visual arts, which has suffered cutbacks during the financial crisis. However, Filippetti was in charge of culture in Hollande’s election campaign and was an adviser on environment, culture, education and social issues to Ségolène Royal, who stood against former president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. That year Filippetti became deputy of the Moselle region in northeast
, the location of the Centre
A published author, she studied classics at the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure. The daughter of a miner and former communist mayor, and the grand-daughter of Italian immigrants, she supports the “fight against the inequalities in access to culture”, she told Arte, the French-German television channel. Speaking in April at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, she said: “Our aim is to strengthen artistic education and democratise access to culture, and re-launch… innovative policies in establishments like this to go and seek people who don’t spontaneously go to museums.” She is also expected to decentralise culture, rather than just focusing on Paris and France’s other big cities.
Olivier Belot, the director general of Galerie Yvon Lambert, says: “After Frédéric Mitterrand, who turned out not to have any real conviction in our domain, we all hope for real consideration of public powers of social and economic weight that represents art on a national and international level.”
Her visit to the Art Paris art fair in late March has been noted. “She seemed very curious and open to contemporary artistic creation,” says Guillaume Piens, the director of Art Paris.
How Filippetti can enrich the French art scene partly depends on how much she is influenced by her advisers. “Culture ministers have such large fields that it largely depends on the advisers that she’ll nominate,” says Marc-Olivier Wahler, the former director of the Palais de Tokyo. “But given her age and her dynamism, I’m very optimistic about what she’ll do for artists in general.”