Thursday, August 13, 2020

In Landerneau, the discreet Leclerc back-store

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PASCAL AMOYEL FOR M THE WORLD MAGAZINE

By Roxana Azimi

Posted on July 31, 2020 at 3:03 p.m., updated at 11:11 a.m.

“My father left some marks on the ceiling”, smiles Michel-Edouard Leclerc as he pops the cork of a bottle of champagne. No matter how much you look up, you don’t see any impact. In this manor house in La Haye, an estate bordered by fifty hectares of land in Saint-Divy, a small town of a thousand inhabitants of Finistère, there is hardly any trace of Edouard and Hélène Leclerc, the owners, died in 2012 and 2019 respectively.

Nothing more of the liturgical art collection that the couple, pioneer of mass distribution, had amassed. The statues and other religious objects, which had invaded every corner of the house, were moved eight kilometers away, to Landerneau, Capuchin convent, place of reception of the endowment fund bearing their name, which organizes each year ambitious exhibitions, like this summer a retrospective of the designer Enki Bilal.

The collection of statues of European saints from the Hélène & Edouard Leclerc Fund for Culture, in Landerneau, June 5.

At The Hague mansion, since the death of the matriarch on July 11, 2019, nothing remains of the other collections, copies of the workers’ defense review, LButter plate, Flemish paintings, and hardly any furniture. The building is almost empty. With a few exceptions, such as Hélène’s set of teapots, which collects dust in the old greenhouse in the garden, or the imposing inlaid cylinder desk in the living room, behind which Édouard posed for the photographers, while ‘he preferred to turbinate behind a simple work table in a small adjacent room.

Possible opening to the public

The last home of the couple will house, after work, the offices of the Hélène and Edouard Leclerc Fund, while the large park that surrounds it will host about twenty sculptures for a possible opening to the public within three years. Soon therefore, the name which appears on the pediments of nearly 600 supermarkets in France will also be inscribed on the facade of a manor classified since 1977 in the register of historical monuments, but which until now was only known to close friends. of the family.

“You see, with us, the word ‘family’ is not intrusive. We don’t need to set it in stone. »Michel-Edouard Leclerc

Neither Michel-Edouard, nor his sister Isabelle, who founded the bookstore L’Imagigraphe in Paris, nor his nephew Vincent Levieux, heir to his sister Hélène who died in 2018, and director of one of the biggest Leclerc hypermarkets, in Saint -Médard-en-Jalles (33), have expressed the slightest desire to take root in this family home. ” You see, with us, the word “family” nis not intrusive. We ndoes not need to write it in stone, explains Michel-Edouard Leclerc. The Hague is more of a landmark house in family history than a typical family house such as one finds on the Ile d’Yeu or the Ile de Ré. “

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