The City of Bordeaux was not justified in dismissing the former director of the CAPC, judges say

The City of Bordeaux was not justified in dismissing the former director of the CAPC, judges say
The City of Bordeaux was not justified in dismissing the former director of the CAPC, judges say

While a dispute opposes the Bordeaux Opera to its former general administrator, here is another case which is shaking the Gironde world of culture: the Bordeaux administrative court of appeal has ruled that the dismissal of Maria Inés Rodriguez…

While a dispute opposes the Bordeaux Opera to its former general administrator, here is another case which is shaking the Gironde world of culture: the administrative court of appeal of Bordeaux ruled that the dismissal of Maria Inés Rodriguez, ex- director of the CAPC, for professional insufficiency, was illegal. In a judgment dated February 29, 2024, it rejected a request from the City of Bordeaux and ordered it to pay it 1,500 euros.

The ruling represents the latest step in a six-year legal battle. In May 2018, the Franco-Colombian director was fired, just four years after being recruited by a unanimous jury, and while her first three-year contract had just been renewed. The municipality criticized him in particular for poor relations with some of the staff and attendance which did not meet its expectations.

Maria Inés Rodriguez appealed to the administrative court and had the City’s decision annulled in December 2020. But the latter counter-attacked in February 2021, asking the administrative court of appeal to annul the administrative court’s judgment. It is this last request which has just been deemed unfounded.

Contrasted assessment

In fact, the results appear mixed for the first non-European director of the very first French contemporary art museum (1). A petition signed by more than half of the agents, just nine months after his arrival, clearly established that the current was not flowing internally. On the other hand, relations were excellent with patrons. “Notably because she brought a lot of artists that we had never seen in Bordeaux: a whole Hispanic scene, or women artists like Judy Chicago, Leonor Antunes,” explains Jean-Pierre Foubet, who chaired the Friends of the CAPC at the time.

Maria Inés Rodriguez today heads the Walter & Nicole Leblanc foundation in Brussels. It is unclear whether she will seek damages following the decision of the administrative court of appeal. Just as we do not know whether the City of Bordeaux will appeal to the Court of Cassation.

(1) The CAPC was created in 1973, four before the Pompidou center.

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