The Palace of Versailles was built by Louis XIV and has 1,000 employees. Now a museum frequented by nearly 20 million people a year and a venue for major State celebrations, the President of the Public Establishment benefits from a “consolidated annual budget of the Public Establishment of approximately 100 million euros” , according to Versailles website. The post is currently held by Catherine Pgard, a 68-year-old political journalist, who had no cultural background when she was sent to Versailles by President Sarkozy in 2011 after serving as an adviser there. Macron’s decision to appoint a new palace president has prompted claims that “like a monarch, he grants favors to former members of his administration”, according to the Time.
The looming appointment is likely to confirm the president’s monarchical prerogative ‘to the point of giving command of the palace to someone with a political profile who has never held any position in a cultural institution,’ according to a news source. French. Le Figaro said. She goes on to speculate that “if the appointment of Jean-Michel Blanquer were confirmed, this would prove, once again, that the domain of the Palace of Versailles, a place of history, remains a presidential ‘reserved domain’, in the same way as Defense and Foreign Affairs, to the point of entrusting the reins to a political profile who has never held a post in a cultural institution.