Keyword: Jérôme Clément

Why foundation at heart of French global cultural network is close to collapse

By
Then foreign minister Laurent Fabius during a Foundation symposium in 2015. © Fondation Alliance Française Then foreign minister Laurent Fabius during a Foundation symposium in 2015. © Fondation Alliance Française

The future of the Fondation Alliance Française, regarded as the shop window for French cultural diplomacy, is at risk. A confidential report carried out by inspectors from three government ministries – and seen by Mediapart – slams the way the foundation has been managed. Its president Jérôme Clément, who is close to former foreign minister Laurent Fabius, has resigned. And five directors, including former prime minister and current mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppé, have also quit. Antton Rouget reports.

Discord within network promoting French culture around the world

By Fabien Cazeaux
Jérôme Clément, president of the Alliance Française Foundation © DR Jérôme Clément, president of the Alliance Française Foundation © DR

The Alliance Française was set up more than 130 years ago to promote French language and culture and is one of France's flagship ambassadors overseas. But today this lofty cultural organisation is embroiled in conflict with a number of senior executives around the world rising up against their boss in Paris, Jérôme Clément. They say he is authoritarian, lacks vision and that under him management is “amateurish”. He says parts of the network are still stuck in the 19th century and insists he has the government's full backing for his planned changes. Fabien Cazeaux reports.