The Museum of fine arts of Montreal separates from its director

Le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal se sépare de sa directrice

MONTREAL | Nathalie Bondil leaves the Museum of fine arts of Montreal. The board of directors of the institution has indicated in a press release on Monday that it was terminating the contract of Ms. Bondil as director general and chief curator. The measure comes into force on Monday, said the council.

This decision was taken because of complaints from employees who reported “an apparent deterioration of the work climate” and the “categorical rejection of Ms. Bondil to accept a settlement proposal that would have allowed all parties to begin a smooth transition by the end of his contract expected to end June 2021,” explained the C. A.

Ms. Bondil was chief curator at the museum on Sherbrooke street West since 2000 and was appointed a director in January 2007, combining the two positions. Under her leadership, the MMFA has experienced significant growth, with, notably, the addition of new pavilions and noticeable increase of its popularity with exhibitions well attended.

On Monday, the board of directors of the Museum explained that, in front of “the gravity of the facts reported” and complained to Ms. Bondil, he had to react. “The Museum has seen many departures of key employees” in addition to having been made aware “of testimonies troubling” employees.

“Last October, the union was alerted to this effect, the board of trustees has immediately commissioned the Firm of HR, an outside firm specializing in human resources management, in order to shed light on this situation and to establish an independent diagnostic of the climate of work in some branches of the Museum,” says the C. A. in its press release, adding that the report of the Cabinet of HR referred to the “particularly severe degradation and factor in the work climate, described by some employees as “toxic””.

The C. A. reports that he has several times to find a solution, but it is very stubborn “to the inflexibility of Ms. Bondil and its denial of several conclusions, yet, without the call of the report”. “The efforts have unfortunately not yielded the desired results and the allegations of psychological harassment within the conservation directorate of the Museum remain.”

One of the issues raised in the course of the road, according to the C. A., has been the dual function of executive director and chief curator Nathalie Bondil, which led “inevitably to the creation of the new position of director of conservation for the good of the Museum and its staff”.

“We would have hoped that these discussions would lead to a cordial understanding and constructive work between the parties, but we see today, in light of the words and the reaction of Ms. Bondil, that this will not be possible, said the president of the board of directors, Michel de la Chenelière. It is regrettable that an outstanding combination of more than 21 years between the Museum and Ms. Bondil ends this way. However, it is sad to see that the face humanist of the Museum established by Ms. Bondil was no echo within its walls. This decision was therefore become necessary in the name of higher interests of the Museum.”

A process of international recruitment will be put in place to replace Nathalie Bondil. Meanwhile, the interim will be assured by the executive committee of the board of directors represented by Mr. de la Chenelière.

In the late afternoon, Monday, the QMI Agency had not yet been able to obtain the comments of Ms. Bondil.

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