TWO’S A CHARM?: Could François Pinault’s art collection really be heading to Paris?

“He has met with [Paris mayor] Anne Hidalgo, who expressed her interest,” a source close to Pinault told WWD. “They are looking together.”

The source added that former French Minister of Culture Jean-Jacques Aillagon is acting as Pinault’s adviser.

In 2005, the founder of the PPR retail and luxury empire — now called Kering — ditched plans to build a private museum to house his collection on the Île Seguin in Boulogne-Billancourt, southwest of Paris, after the project became snarled in red tape. His decision to showcase the works at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice instead was seen as a major blow to the French capital’s cultural prestige.

Last October, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Bernard Arnault opened the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a striking museum designed by Frank Gehry on the leafy fringes of Paris.

“The Fondation Louis Vuitton is a true gift for Parisians….It will incredibly boost the city’s attractiveness,” Hidalgo said last September. “If the Pinault Foundation had chosen Paris instead of Boulogne, I would have done anything to make it happen and not let it go to Venice, the same way we did everything to make Fondation Louis Vuitton happen.”

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