In a letter dated October 9, the Ministry of Culture informed Jean-Pierre Lecoq, mayor of the 6th arrondissement of Paris, that the premises of the Ernest Hébert National Museum will soon be sold, while the works will be transferred to another museum which is dedicated to the painter, the Musée de la Tronche, in Isère.
This museum, created in 1978 thanks to a donation from a descendant of Ernest Hébert (1817-1908), has been closed since 2004 for safety and hygiene reasons. At the beginning of October, Jean-Pierre Lecoq deplored “total inaction” of the Ministry of Culture, which “let it decline” this historic place.
The situation is complicated by an administrative imbroglio involving several actors in the management of the museum. The latter is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture, the buildings belong to the Réunion des musées nationaux (RMN), the legatee clause is managed by the Fondation de France and the Musée d’Orsay is responsible for the administrative and scientific management of the collections.
The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, detailed in her letter the steps to proceed with the sale. We must first review the legacy of Patris d’Uckermann, the museum’s donor. “This is the essential prerequisite for the transfer of the collection and the sale of the building on rue du Cherche-Midi by the RMN-GP, to which it belongs”, indicates the minister. The sale of the Parisian building will be done through a call for tenders, with no obligation to maintain a museum vocation in the building.
We learn in this letter that last July, the Fondation de France had agreed to move the collection to the Hébert Museum in La Tronche, managed by the Isère Departmental Council. The president of this council and the president of the Public Establishment of the Orsay and Orangerie Museums also “expresses their agreement in principle”.
The mayor says he is satisfied with this progress, but remains cautious. “After years of mobilization, we can only rejoice. However, the previous minister, Madame Bachelot, wrote to us in 2021 that a solution was “close” without this being followed by any progress. We will therefore be extremely vigilant as to the real evolution of the file “, he declared to the Arts Journal.