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Culture director escapes the sack

Michel Ritter's tenure in Paris has been dogged by controversy

(Keystone Archive)

The embattled director of the Swiss Cultural Centre in Paris, Michel Ritter, is to remain in his job.

Ritter, who has held the post for less than a year, has come under growing criticism for his management style.

Only last week Pius Knüsel, the director of Pro Helvetia - which is responsible for the Swiss Cultural Centre in Paris - said he couldn't continue working with Ritter.

Knüsel's comments came a day after 120 artists presented Pro Helvetia with a petition, saying they would support the centre's employees who have repeatedly called for Ritter's resignation.

The centre's staff have accused Ritter of displaying weak management skills and running the Paris centre in a "chaotic" way.

Ritter, who managed the Contemporary Art Centre in Fribourg until September last year, has also been challenged over his artistic vision.

Workshops

Knüsel said recent talks to mend the rift between Ritter and his employees had been unsuccessful - as were various bridge-building workshops.

Last week's announcement that Ritter had acted illegally in obtaining sponsorship from a Bern-based furniture company appeared to hammer another nail in his coffin.

Ritter admitted handing over the centre's address list in exchange for SFr35,000 ($26,620) worth of office furniture.

Last weekend Yvette Jaggi, Pro Helvetia's president, said she would have to take action since she saw no amicable solution to the dispute.

Observers expected either Ritter to be made redundant or the centre's seven employees to resign.

swissinfo with agencies


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