FOR ART'S SAKE: François Pinault, who owns Gucci Group, has prevailed in a competition with the Guggenheim Foundation for a massive exhibition space in Venice that would showcase the French billionaire's collection of modern and contemporary art. The city of Venice gave Pinault a green light to develop a contemporary art space at the Dogana, an old customs building, after it ruled the Guggenheim's proposition was incomplete. Last year, Pinault inaugurated the Palazzo Grassi, a lavish palace on the Grand Canal, to stage exhibits from his vast collection, which contains hundreds of pieces, including work by artists from Richard Serra to Jeff Koons.

CELINE SEARCH: Celine has initiated a search for a new U.S. president to succeed Thuy Tranthi, who is leaving the unit to devote more time to her family. Tranthi, who joined Celine a year ago from Thomas Pink USA, plans to remain at the fashion and accessories firm until mid-May to assist in the transition, a Celine spokeswoman said Thursday. The French fashion and accessories firm, part of LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, plans to continue ramping up its operations in America, where it sees big expansion potential.

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