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Louvre getting first female leader in 228 years

The Louvre announced on Wednesday that it has appointed its first female CEO and president.

The legendary Paris museum announced in a press release that French President Emmanuel Macron had appointed Laurence des Cars, 54, as the first woman to lead the museum in its 228-year history. Her term will begin on Sept. 1, coinciding with the reopening of the Musée d’Orsay, of which she currently serves as president, along with the Musée de l’Orangerie.

“At the head of the Louvre, Mme des Cars’ mission will be to reaffirm the universal vocation of the first museum in the world,” it said in a statement. “In this perspective, it will make the dialogue between ancient art and the contemporary world one of its priorities, with the constant concern of transmission to the greatest number.”

According to French newspaper Le Monde, des Cars studied at the École du Louvre, the museum’s school, as well as the Sorbonne University.

The New York Times reports that the incumbent president of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, was assumed to be guaranteed a third term as president, having grown visitor numbers to more than 10 million.

However, critics have accused Martinez of cheapening the museum, making partnerships with clothing brands such as Uniqlo and allowing couples to spend the night on the premises.

In a press release, the Louvre said Martinez would be appointed by Macron as an ambassador “in charge of international cooperation in the field of heritage.”

“[Macron] and the [Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot] salute the work done by Jean-Luc Martinez at the head of the Louvre for more than eight years,” the statement read. “During his two terms, Mr. Martinez has increased the number of visitors to the establishment to more than 10 million per year and has enabled it to win new audiences, through a policy of voluntary mediation and the improvement of reception conditions within the museum.”

Tags Emmanuel Macron France Jean-Luc Martinez Laurence des Cars Laurence des Cars Louvre Louvre Palace museums Musée d'Orsay Musée de l'Orangerie
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