The dismissal of the director general of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) has had new twists Thursday, when Quebec announced that an independent firm will focus on the supervision and oversight of the conduct of the business by the management team and the board of directors.
In addition, on Thursday, the famous Orsay Museum of Paris was the first to announce that he severed his ties with the montreal museum, according to the media specialist in The Art Newspaper, to protest against the dismissal of Nathalie Bondil, who was also a curator of the MMFA.
This means, according to this publication, and the common exposure between the Orsay Museum and the MMFA on the naturalist Charles Darwin would fall to the water.
An international movement seems to want to form as a reaction to the treatment which has been reserved for Nathalie Bondil, a number of leading international museums, including in France and the United States, to come to his defense.
Nathalie Bondil has even been called “the best, most dynamic and innovative director of museum in North America” by the director of the Virginia Fine Arts Museum, Alex Nyerges, said in an interview with The Art Newspaper.
The minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, who had lent his support to Nathalie Bondil before his dismissal Monday amid allegations of workplace climate as “toxic” by some employees, said Thursday that the independent firm will allow him to get recommendations on the role and responsibilities of each”.
It was declined on two occasions to provide to the minister the report of the Cabinet HR, that would have served to justify the dismissal of Ms. Bondil by the board of directors, according to the cabinet of Ms. Roy, and this justified the examination which will be conducted by the independent firm.
“As the largest funder of the Museum, at the rate of $ 16 million per year, the government of Quebec considers itself entitled to ask questions and get answers about the management and governance of the Museum and its board of directors,” said the office of the minister, by press release.
Reaction of the MMFA
In the wake of the announcement of Quebec, the direction of the MMFA has said that it will collaborate with the minister and the independent firm.
“We will continue to offer our full cooperation to the minister and to the independent firm commissioned by it,” said Michel de la Chenelière, president of the board of directors of the MMFA, by issuing a press release.
“However, we still remain convinced that the decision to terminate the contract of Ms. Bondil was the right in virtue of our role as trustee is to ensure that the best interests of the Museum as well as the respect of its values and its employees”, he added.
In an interview with the QMI Agency Tuesday, Nathalie Bondil has refuted all allegations brought to its place, including the requirement that it has refused to cooperate to resolve the conflict situation with some employees of the museum.
“People are going to think I’m a monster”, said Ms. Bondil.
“I do not deny the issue of the workplace climate, but I’ve never been the object of complaints for harassment. There has been a problem with an employee in September of last year who complained about having too much work, but it was in the middle of preparing a big project and the pressure was strong on the teams. As soon as we heard of the problem, we reacted […]”, she added.