what is the national Furniture? To or almost nothing, seems to say the Court of accounts, in a chapter scathing of its annual report. Status ( of establishment, editor’s NOTE ) “inappropriate to change”, human resources management, “ossified”, “collections huge” heritage “poorly maintained and insufficiently valued”…

The old administration, and heir to the Garde-meuble royal, does not find grace in the eyes of the magistrates. The institution “is at the end of breath”, they say. And its power must be held “without further delay”.

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the function of The Mobilier National, from the Manufactures des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie, is threefold. All four are responsible for to furnish the presidential residences, the high authorities and museums, with a collection of 130,000 goods (chandeliers, carpets, chairs, tables, tapestries, bronzes, etc.).

The reserves of the Mobilier national, the Manufacture des Gobelins. Sébastien Soriano/ Le Figaro

Also charged to protect and restore the furniture and the textiles of these places – as they do in the salle des fêtes of the Elysée palace they create, finally, of the works and contemporary furniture. All of these missions allow France to maintain collections of exception in her lap, as well as know-how techniques that are unique in the world – what the report does not mention.

“relative disinterest”

From the second page, the court states that the presidential residences, government departments or the embassies of France now display a “relative disinterest” for these public collections made to their provisions. The example of the new site of the Defence, at the door of Balard in Paris, is obvious. In furnishing its new offices, the ministry of Defence has opted for a contemporary furniture, bought in the market, convenient Empire of the Mobilier National.

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creation Side, the same causes have the same effects. By lack of interest, and no doubt for the sake of the public purse, rare are the governments that control now weaving a new carpet to Manufacturers. Between 2007 and 2017, “three mats and six tapestries of approximately 10m2 are released on average per year” workshops to low-and high-smooth.

creates a charge against the status of the authority and its staff (358 employees). Hierarchical power reduced for the direction, weight of the union is too important, social gains… “The modernization is encountering a professional culture resistant to change”, one can read in the document. The court noted the presence of “premiums of outfits or shoes” for up to 300 agents, or the possibility, very little used, and “framed”, to working “in a wig” (private work) before and after work hours.

Downgrade a part of the reserves

in Order to revive the Furniture, the court suggests “the commercialization” of its know-how on the market, as do the manufactures de Sèvres. Notwithstanding prices of production “are higher” than in the private workshops, such as those from Aubusson, the court imagines that the resistors are “not insurmountable”. Finally, the judges call for the Furniture “downgrades” a portion of its reserves (30%) in order to be able to sell them, or throw them out.

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the Subject is taboo? Not that much. For several years, the direction of the Furniture claims that let him play a role in the manufacture of a prototype for publishers of furniture private, such as Ligne Roset or Conrad shop. And knows that the series of feet of lights, or bronzes may be able to leave the reservations in Rungis, without prejudice to the museums or departments.

She has also placed several times on the table the question of the heavy burden of its status as well as her small means – its operating budget is 4 million euros, 24 million, payroll included. If Versailles, Chambord or Sèvres have a status of a public establishment, the Furniture is a service with national jurisdiction, assimilated to a body. This means, for example, that he struggles to generate own resources, and did not hand over the management of its staff. If there is a track of reform, it is precisely this that it would be necessary to borrow.