The day rises barely on the snow-covered Park of the château de Versailles. In a guardian lodges, Jean-Jacques very early morning, Aillagon already blackened whole pages of thoughts. On the public establishment of the Museum and the estate of Versailles, that he has run since 2007, on political news or cultural life... These observations and comments that will be then posted on his personal blog, or join other books in anticipation of a possible publication. Today, with at its annual press conference, the programming of the months to come, the "boss" of Versailles will tell whether or not he is candidate for his own succession. Him whose mandate ends in June although next, and which would be "extend" a year and a half. Up to "age limits" of sixty-five years.
Because Jean-Jacques Aillagon feels well at Versailles. That he "lives" in every sense of the term. "I'm in the middle of my troops." This morning, at 7: 15 a.m., my chief operating officer asked about opening or not, in view of the snow. I looked out my window, I have decided. "A window from which he sees the Royal Chapel, a wing of the Castle, a Hare in the driveway, a curious, or some Versalles tourist come present grievances... Decorated with elegance, but without ostentation, this 70 m2n housing ' is the pageantry of the flag of the Lantern, frequented regularly by Nicolas Sarkozy. Here, no protection. The pattern of Versailles was even forced to close its shutters side street, a little privacy to the weekend.
This House full of books and works of art reflect the eclectic tastes of its host: a Spanish painting of the XVIIereprésentant saint François d'Assise, a Carnation on tile of Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Lagerfeld signed photos, a Coptic cross of marquetry boxes... This compulsive collector was often a precursor of artistic trends. Thus, "he is interested to design or the photo before it became fashionable", said Emmanuel Berard, house sales Artcurial marketing manager.
The flair and the meaning of the public
"This culture generalist", as it defines itself, undoubtedly has the flair. It also has the meaning of the public, and the audacity to lead a revolution of Palace at Versailles. Since the invitation to Jeff Koons, international and highly controversial contemporary art icon, the field désemplit not and regular news. Of friendship woven through his career, Centre Pompidou to the Ministry of Culture, or in the wake of François Pinault Venice contemporary art elected home in the Royal apartments. In September, Japanese Murakami, whose universe is based on the manga, will invest the site.
The live shows on the bleachers overlooking the basin of Neptune or at the royal Opera, reopened recently, are also more ambitious: Alagna, Christophe, Barbara Hendricks, Juliette Gréco, Camille, Prejlocaj, and soon M... "All that's return Ile-de-France customer and 25-35 years." "70 of the public of the stands did had never attended the site previously", welcomed Laurent Brunner, Director of the subsidiary Château Versailles Spectacles (CVS). Great waters music and night, as popular events have multiplied, picnic from 14 July to exposure "Louis XIV: the man and the King", that person - strange it n ' had thought up until then. In project, Venetian festivals on the Grand Canal, the Royal Wedding of Louis XIV commented by Stéphane Bern and perhaps the filming of a James Bond...
Despite the crisis, the frequentation of the area has not declined in 2009, with 5.6 million visitors. That shows rose with 1.151.000 tickets sold, allowing CVS to display a record turnover of EUR 10 million. "The awakening of Versailles was hired from the Presidency of Christine Albanel", moderates Alain de Pouzilhac, boss of RFI, France 24, and TV5 Monde, chain that Aillagon had briefly chaired before him. "But Jean-Jacques Aillagon has much better developed all this music," says Philippe Régnier, editor of the Journal of the arts ". "It is an excellent Communicator, he chose a glamorous program for further resonance." He is known to stage power and also mentioned a Museum of the history of France at Versailles well before that Nicolas Sarkozy spoke.
Mendicant brother of sponsorship
Only sponsorship, after having more than tripled between 2007 and 2008, is collapsed 15 to 7 million last year. It should go back to 10 this year, with the address book provided the pattern. "I've reinvented a trade of the 13th century, mendicant brother!", he jokes.
At Versailles, now, nothing is left to chance: 200 park benches themselves have been sponsored, to increase own resources up to 60 of a budget of EUR 101 million.
All costumes previously endorsed by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, intendant of Versailles, at the head of 980 people, is that which best befit him. "This is the summary of all my functions," recognizes this passionate historian. Which the course was not drawn in advance... Born in Lorraine, in a family of modest, initiated to classical music by an engineer from a nearby plant, he is discovered "an appetite, a desire not to be happer by her social condition." After a doctorate in art history, the good student became Professor of history and geography in Corrèze. Through a friend, it incorporates almost "by chance" the Ministry of Culture in 1976, before be taken under the Superior wing of Jean Musy at the Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts, and then to the city of Paris. Aillagon is "a deep reconnaissance" to him "have set foot in the Stirrup" and will be in turn mentor young people today to key positions, such as Guillaume Cerruti, President of Sotheby's, or Martin Bethenod, Commissioner of the Fiac. A Court of the faithful.
The President of Versailles has faith in good star: "Rendez-vous account, have the chance to serve in the House Kings of France, one of the most beautiful places of the world!" His career is composed of amazing trips: administrator in 1982 of the Centre Pompidou, he takes the orders in 1996; Assistant for Cultural Affairs in Paris in 1985, he became the Director eight years later. This is where he acquired the taste of the event. President Chirac, this active activist WINS Beaubourg, to which he brings a new momentum, opening on the international and regional, with an antenna in Metz, his native country... In 2002, appointed Minister of Culture, it takes a series of measures, which it enjoys today: autonomy of major museums, Bill sponsorship, tax credit international cinema work of 400 million euros for Versailles, as "Site Manager", it will be pleased to accelerate... Momentum, he has the rest programmed a third slice of work, of EUR 100 million.
"The truth is on the ground."
That morning, the President of the estate of Versailles was go to the Grove of Apollo to the point on its restoration. "Are we ready for the big waters" is concerned, before spinning to the plain of the toads, granted to the foundation of the animals. "Sheep and horses give the Park a popular country." In fact, "this very urban common sense rural", as described by his family, is also comfortable in the aisles of a royal park of 800 hectares on the steep paths of Plougasnou, its Bretagne of adoption. It appears to be interested in the greenhouses of the field, where the gardeners prepare spring plantations, to the renovation of the antechamber of the Grand Couvert. "Do not lock in his Office, the truth is on the ground.
A project by day
It is as he discovered an exceptional photographic archive on Versailles, and had the idea to expose them in a new place, Pierre high Gallery: Clemenceau signing the Treaty of Versailles, Fred Astaire dancing with IM, Mitterrand receiving G7... "The President has a project per day," enthuses Laurent Brunner. It is ubiquitous. Sometimes anonymous to walk listening to visitors, and educator, anxious to allow people "to the social field", or even Aesthete, enjoying the work of restorers. His pace weary of his collaborators. "I don't like things that are." "The magnitude of the task stress me, I do not have the eternity before me," he acknowledges.
A sense of urgency inherited his mission shortened to the Ministry, after the hard conflict of the intermittents, including this emotional emerged dented... Perhaps. But too want to do, the pattern of the public establishment of Versailles may also ruffled feathers. For example, its sovereign vision of the field sometimes led to walk on beds of the first magistrate of the city, François de Mazières. "The public institution manages one-third of the communal territory." "Then, inevitably, relations have always been strained between the Mayor and his Castle, which is, however, the global reputation of this city and contributes to the quality of life of the Versaillais", defending Jean-Jacques Aillagon.
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