ARTnews Top 200 collector François Pinault has a big year ahead of him—in June, his long-awaited private museum in Paris, the Bourse de Commerce, will finally open. But moves are taking place at his Venice museums—the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana—as well, and today the collector named a new leader for both institutions.
Bruno Racine will be the next director of the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice. He succeeds Martin Bethenod, who will oversee the development and opening of the Bourse starting in March.
Racine has previously directed a number of international institutions, including the Centre Georges Pompidou and Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris and the Académie de France in Rome. He also served as director of cultural affairs for the city of Paris from 1988 to 1993 and is chairman of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, the Studio National des Arts Contemporains-Le Fresnoy, and the Association pour le Développement de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême.
Before entering the cultural field, Racine served at the Cour des comptes in France and held positions in foreign affairs, including working as an adviser to the late former Prime Minister Jacques Chirac.
Pinault, who has appeared on ARTnews‘s Top 200 Collectors list 25 times, holds 5,000 works in his collection, including pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Thomas Houseago, Takashi Murakami, and Martial Raysse. Like the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Pinault’s museum in Paris is designed by architect Tadao Ando; construction is expected to cost $170 million.
The collector’s net worth is estimated to be a whopping $29.9 billion, much of which he accumulated from running the luxury goods holding company Kering. He also owns a majority stake in Christie’s, which, under his ownership, has expanded its presence in China in recent years.