Asked what it means to be a woman head of the world’s most visited and largest museum, she replied, “Things are really changing for women in the museum world. Of the 70 curators at the Louvre, more than half are women. More and more women are running museums, especially in Europe. And young women are much more confident these days.
A few months ago, it was assumed that Martinez, president of the Louvre since 2013, was assured of a third term. Under his tenure, the Louvre exceeded 10 million visitors for the first time. Its Leonardo exhibition, which ended a few weeks before France closed last year, garnered rave reviews and a million visitors.
Still, critics accused Martinez of an authoritarian style that ignored the advice of his curators and belittled the museum’s brand by forming partnerships with brands like Uniqlo, allowing a couple to spend a night at the museum. as part of a marketing campaign for Airbnb. (The Louvre has also rented space for Beyoncé and Jay-Z to film the music video for their song “Apes ** t” and features prominently in the Netflix hit “Lupine”, one of the most watched series on the platform.)
In March, after an argument over a new color palette in one of the Louvre’s galleries became a week-long talking point in French media, Henri Loyrette, the museum’s former president, threw his weight behind Martinez’s reviews. He testified in a lawsuit brought by the Cy Twombly Foundation, which said a new paint job disfigured a ceiling mural by the American abstract painter.
Martinez will continue at the museum, which reopened on May 19 after months of closure, until August 31. He will then become heritage ambassador, responsible for coordinating France’s participation in international projects.
Des Cars learned of Macron’s decision on Monday, while she was visiting the Musée d’Orsay with her parents and other members of her family and received a call on her cell phone from the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot. “My heart beat a lot faster,” she says. “The Louvre is the heart of Paris. The building itself dates back 800 years. It is a former royal palace that has become a public establishment belonging to French culture and also to citizens of the world. It was quite a moving moment.