'War' of personalities tore Montreal Museum of Fine Arts apart: study
MONTREAL -- A "war" of personalities tore apart the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, leading to the chief curator's dismissal, an independent study into the affair has revealed.
Commissioned by Culture Minister Nathalie Roy, the study is the latest development in the ongoing saga over the firing of director general and chief curator Nathalie Bondil.
The study revealed that the war has eaten away the MMFA, the most visited museum in Canada.
The study recommended a significant overhaul, including creating an ethics committee and human resources department at the museum, in addition to a clear protocol on workplace harassment.
Bondil was let go on July 13 by board chair Michel de la Cheneliere, which caused an uproar in the art world.
Bondil has filed a $2-million lawsuit claiming defamation. De la Cheneliere has since left his post.
"It is clear that the museum has serious governance issues. From our perspective, these issues are directly related to our client's dismissal and have caused her serious damages," said Bondil's lawyer Caroline Biron.
The report's recommendations include rigorous practices for the good governance of the museum.
Because the museum receives $16 million in funding from the Quebec government every year, it has to be transparent with its investments and ensure responsible use of those public funds, the study said.
Pierre Bourgie has been designated to become the next president of the board of trustees and said the board has started conversations with the ministry.
"The museum is currently focusing on hiring a new director who will take over the management of the institution, so that we may continue to move forward from the events of recent months," he said in a statement.
Though Bourgie is in line to become chair of the board, two local businesswomen have also expressed interest.
The museum's annual general meeting is next Tuesday when there will be discussions on these measures and de la Cheneliere's replacement.