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Ex-presidential press director who led billionaire François Pinault’s art empire quits after six months

Sylvain Fort steps down ahead of Paris gallery launch at the historic Bourse de Commerce, which has been delayed due to coronavirus

The Bourse de Commerce—Pinault Collection, will now open in September rather than June because of delays caused by coronavirus. Photo: © Patrick Tournebœuf / Tendance Floue for the Pinault Collection, Paris

Sylvain Fort has stepped down as director of the Pinault Collection after only six months in post, prompting a reshuffle amongst staff responsible for billionaire François Pinault’s art empire. “By mutual agreement, the two sides agreed not to continue this collaboration,” says a collection spokesman.

Fort took up the post last September, replacing the former French culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon. As part of his remit, Fort was responsible for Pinault’s new contemporary art museum, housed at the historic Bourse de Commerce (stock exchange) building near the Louvre in Paris, which is due to open in September in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak (the original launch was scheduled for June).

The management roles are now filled by Martin Bethenod, who is the director of the Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection in Paris, and Bruno Racine, the director of Pinault’s two Venetian venues, Palazzo Grassi and the Punta Della Dogana. Jean-Jacques Aillagon will once again take up the post of director of the Pinault Collection, as well as acting as special advisor to Pinault.

Fort, a classical music expert, was the former communications director of President Emmanuel Macron. He is also the publications director for the website forumopera.com, and has written numerous books including Puccini (2013), which focuses on the life and works of the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).