The disappearance of Frédéric Mitterrand

He is undoubtedly the Minister of Culture best known to the French when he arrives at Rue de Valois. Frédéric Mitterrand, who died yesterday following cancer, had a long career on television before moving into Christine Albanel's chair in June 2009. An arrival that he himself announces on television before the official press release. In addition to this blunder, this appointment caused a lot of noise: a Mitterrand minister to Nicolas Sarkozy! The war prize is good for a president who is trying to expand his government. To tell the truth, the two men already know each other since Nicolas Sarkozy had appointed him a year earlier to the Villa Medici in Rome, wanting to resolve a tragicomic episode featuring Olivier Poivre d'Arvor and Georges-Marc Benamou.

From the fall, its position was handicapped by the controversy launched by Marine Le Pen in October 2019, which unearthed a book from 2005, The Bad Life, in which he recounts his attraction to young boys in Thailand. However, he managed to overcome this crisis and implemented what he was appointed for: the Hadopi law and the House of French History. The first subsequently slowly withered away while the second was abandoned by Aurélie Filippetti who replaced him on Rue de Valois in 2012 in the wake of François Hollande's arrival at the Élysée. This is not the only abandoned project: a center dedicated to photography in the Hôtel de Nevers in Paris is part of the list.

He is a minister who is closely supervised by the cultural advisors of the Élysée and Matignon as well as by a Council for Artistic Creation headed by Marin Karmitz who caused a lot of ink to flow at the time. However, we owe to Frédéric Mitterrand the creation of the Maison des illustrious label and the desire to create a Villa Médicis in a tower in Seine-Saint-Denis.

“The fact is that since I cannot implement a real reform program, I try to compensate by being present everywhere and doing a thousand little things more or less useful” he writes in a tasty book about his time in the ministry (Playtime) a year after his departure. He takes the opportunity to settle scores (with Eric de Chassey or Jean-Jacques Aillagon for example) or praise certain personalities who will have a more difficult destiny (Mathieu Gallet).

“My time at the ministry will have been another romantic chapter in my life” he said to Arts Journal. Frédéric Mitterrand basically led his entire life like a novel.

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