Definitely, the decision to close Strasbourg museums two days a week continues to make waves.

A generous donor has indeed given up bequeathing her real estate estimated at five million euros to the museums of Strasbourg, after having judged the conditions of conservation of the works to be poor and in reaction to this announcement of the closure of the museums of the city.

“My decision is irrevocable,” said Marie-Claire Ballabio to AFP on Thursday, from Biarritz where she is retiring.

After making a first donation of collections of old paintings and drawings to Strasbourg museums in 2019, estimated at five million euros, the 79-year-old art lover had the capital deleted from her will on Monday. Alsatian, as revealed by the

Tribune de l'Art


The septuagenarian, who has made a career in insurance, intended to sell her home on the Atlantic coast and land in Rambouillet to the museums of Strasbourg, before changing her mind, considering herself "deceived" by the conservation conditions of her first legacy in the Palais Rohan, which houses the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts.

“The city was universal legatee”

"They do not have the technical installation to keep the temperature constant at 19 degrees," said Marie-Claire Ballabio, alerted by relatives in early August visiting the museum at the height of the heat wave.

"The works are not in themselves afraid of high heat, they are afraid of sudden variations, thermal, or relative humidity", explained Paul Lang, director of the museums of the city of Strasbourg.

The director recalls that the works bequeathed by Marie-Claire Ballabio, ranging from the Renaissance to the 19th century, "were previously kept in a villa by the sea, with a high level of humidity" which was not ideal.

"We restored them, and since they have been with us they are absolutely stable," he added, regretting the donor's decision.

“The city was universal legatee and we would have created an endowment fund at death, which could have been used to buy works”, he further explained about the stolen inheritance.

Marie-Claire Ballabio claims to have made her decision before the announcement in early September of the closure of the city's eight museums two days a week and between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., to save staff.

“I do not accept this.

I made a donation so that the works are seen and not so that they are taken hostage and sequestered, ”she nevertheless reacted before refusing to give the name of the museum to whom her inheritance will ultimately go.


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