It is a high-risk mission that the current president of the Grand Halle de Villette has agreed to take on. The presidency of the RMN-Grand Palais is far from easy, as experienced by his predecessor Chris Dercon who left a year before the end of his first term. He must ensure that the work on the Grand Palais will be completed in time to organize the fencing events there during the Olympic Games in Paris. Then he will have to relaunch the activity of the Grand Palais, which is not really a problem given the lack of large halls in Paris. But the minister stuck a thread in his paw with a partnership with the Center Pompidou which will exhibit his works there during its closure, thus reducing his room for maneuver.
The main problem lies in the profitability of the public establishment. This posted an (expected) loss of nearly 8 million euros in 2022 and its cost structure is such that a slight drop in attendance at exhibitions at the Galeries Nationales or the Musée du Luxembourg, or a bad year in the activity of bookstores-boutiques are enough to plunge the accounts into the red.
But Didier Fusillier (64) has a job and he knows how to fill rooms like at the Grand Halle with very profitable exhibitions like those on the Pharaohs in 2019 and currently. He is also one of those who knew how to popularize contemporary art and make it festive (like Jean Blaise in Nantes). Coming from the performing arts (he directed the National Scene, the Manège in Maubeuge), he has piloted the cultural program of Lille since it was European Capital of Culture. The inventor of the Micro-Folies, these digital devices which exhibit art in a fun way, is also well equipped to relaunch the immersive Grand Palais which is struggling to find its way.