Thursday, 13 January 2011

Culture and Politics – I

Spending Christmas in Venice had the added bonus of being able to enjoy the city at it emptiest. The narrow streets were almost spacious and looking at paintings rather than at other visitors at the Accademia was an unusual treat.

I don’t know what financial arrangements enabled French billionaire, Francois Pinault, to get his hands on the iconic Punta della Dogana, having already got hold of Palazzo Grassi on the other side of the Grand Canal. Rather large posters with a photomap create the impression that this whole part of Venice is Pinault-land. Moreover, Pinault seems to think that he owns the artists as well as their work. His posters inform us that the two museums jointly exhibit “Artists from the Francois Pinault Collection”.

Pinault charges a €15 entrance fee. This is more than twice the Accademia’s €6.50. If we allow the rich to create such self-aggrandising projects should they not be made to open them to the public free of charge?


  1. Museen und deren Kollektionen der Öffentlichkeit kostenlos zugängig zu machen, ist ein hehres Ziel. Dabei gilt es jedoch zu bedenken, dass der Museumsbetrieb mit hohen Kosten, sowohl für Personal als auch Sachkosten, verbunden ist, die selbst Millionäre nicht aus der Portokasse begleichen können.

    Und ist es nicht lobenswert, dass Pinault die Dogana, die über Jahrzehnte im Dornröschenschlaf lag, mit viel Geld und einem vorzüglichen Architekten zum Leben erweckt hat?

    Über die Sammlung kann man durchaus geteilter Meinung sein.

  2. Enjoyed your Christmas vacation blog..