On the proposal of the Minister of Culture, the President of the Republic appointed Marie-Cécile Zinsou President of the Board of Directors of the Académie de France in Rome - Villa Médicis for a three-year term.
Born in 1982, of French and Beninese nationality, Marie-Cécile Zinsou, after studying in France and England, began teaching art history in Benin, at the Sos Hermann Gmeiner Secondary School of Crafts in Abomey Calavi in 2003.
In 2005, in Cotonou, she created the Zinsou Foundation, dedicated to contemporary art and its influence – a foundation she chairs and directs. In 2013, she opened the Ouidah Museum of Contemporary Art and joined the Global Museum Leader Colloquium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Since 2015, Marie-Cécile Zinsou has served on the board of the Public Establishment of the Palace, the Museum and the National Domain of Versailles and, since 2019, on the board of the Institute of Islamic Cultures. She chairs the board of directors of La Maison Maria Casarès, a cultural meeting centre dedicated to theatre, located in the Charente.
An officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, she received the Zinsou Foundation’s Praemium Imperiale - Grant for young artist- in 2014 in Japan.
Five personalities have also been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Académie de France in Rome – Villa Médicis by the Minister of Culture for a three-year term: Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples, Cathy Bouvard, director of the Ateliers Médicis in Clichy-Montfermeil, Grégoire Chertok, managing partner of a financial institution, Emmanuel Tibloux, director of the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and Monique Veaute, director of the Festival des deux Mondes de Spolète (on renewal of its mandate).
Marie-Cécile Zinsou and all the members of the Board of Directors will have for mission to accompany the action of Sam Stourdzé, Director of the Villa since 1er september 2020.
Marie-Cécile Zinsou succeeds Thierry Tuot, who chaired the Board of Directors for 9 years, from 2011 to 2020. The Minister of Culture wishes to commend the action and commitment of Thierry Tuot at the head of the Board of Directors of the Académie de France in Rome – Villa Médicis, during his three successive terms.