Rodin Museum in Paris will sell bronze sculpture to cover losses

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An announcement requesting financial support on the Rodin Museum website

By selling limited castings from Rodin’s works, the museum management plans to earn at least € 3 million per year. Its director Catherine Chevillon spoke about the museum’s new initiative on July 7, 2020, in an interview with the Associated Press.

In her opinion, sales of castings from Rodin’s marble originals will be able to cover the museum’s budget deficit, which currently stands at € 3.4 million.

According to his order, the museum has the right to produce and sell up to 12 copies of his sculpture every year. These copies are made in specialized workshops under museum control and are bought by art galleries, collectors, and museums. The price of one such casting can range from € 50 thousand to € 1 million. Over the past 100 years, the museum has sold a total of 5 thousand such works. In 2020, revenues from the sale of bronze sculptures already amounted to more than € 1.4 million, but in the current situation, this money is not enough for the museum.

Over the past three years, the position of the museum is becoming more complicated. First, there were protests of the yellow vests, then there were strikes, and this year, the crisis was due to the coronavirus.

To eliminate the budget deficit, the museum plans to expand the list of works available for castings, as well as to make the purchase process more open and attract a new audience, primarily due to customers in Asia, Latin America, and the Persian Gulf. In addition, part of the bronze castings (the production of which the museum plans to increase to 120 pieces per year) is planned to be sold through galleries of the level of Gagosian Gallery or similar.

Chevillon said that their task is not to sell more but to do it more regularly. Because in some years they sell sculpture for € 6–9 million, while in others they don’t sell anything. Now the museum expects to receive from the sale of bronze at least a third of the required annual budget of the museum – € 3 million per year.

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