The Rodin museum sells precious prints to cope with the lack of visitors


Since 1919, the Rodin museum, located rue de Varenne in Paris – as well as in Meudon -, ensures the conservation and the dissemination of the works of the sculptor Auguste Rodin, who died in 1917. This jewel of the Biron mansion, surrounded by the ‘one of the most beautiful gardens in the capital, will reopen its doors to the public from Tuesday 7 July from 10 a.m.

Unlike others, this museum, which receives nearly 550,000 visitors each year, 75% of them foreigners, has no subsidy. To finance himself, he can only count on his ticket office, the privatization of places for events, and the sale of reproductions of bronzes by the sculptor.

The ticket office generates nearly 3.5 million euros, the sale of reproduction of bronzes nearly 1.5 million euros and one million for privatization.

€ 3 million loss

But, with the crisis, the establishment expects a sharp drop in attendance and will have to seek new revenue. “Before the health crisis, all of our lights were green. We hoped to make a profit of 1.4 million this year, it will be a loss of 3 million ”, explains Catherine Chevillot, the director of the establishment, in Les Echos.

To fill this hole, the museum will activate an unknown lever. Indeed, the establishment, which keeps the creations and collections of the artist, also has the particularity of being the trustee of the sculptor, and therefore of managing the original editions, and twelve prints of each of the works, not one more.

Certain works, such as the series of “Thinkers” or “The Bourgeois of Calais”, have exhausted this quota. Others do not. For more than 100 years, sales of these exclusive works have been rare and generally intended for institutions.

But this time, the museum decided to approach galleries to sell several copies. “We have also made agreements with contemporary art galleries in France, in the regions to begin with. We will try in London next year, and we have a piece at Gagosian in New York, to reach new customers, ”continues Catherine Chevillot in the economic daily. Instead of the 40 works that are usually offered, the offer will increase to 130.

The director, who also plans to call on patronage, would like to be able to find new resources to avoid tapping into these reserves. “Until 2014, we had created an investment fund that paid off. But since this type of fund is banned from public establishments, this source of revenue has dried up for us. A paradox when we receive no subsidy, ”she adds.

This question was to be reviewed by the Ministry of Culture. But with the cabinet reshuffle, the file could be delayed.

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