Sunday, April 21, 2019

Wines for Versailles

In an ideal world, museums seeking to fund projects would tap enthusiastic donors, and the monies would simply appear. Today, however, cultural institutions are getting increasingly creative in order to reach out beyond their core supporters. Consider the intriguing initiatives that are fueling improvements at Château de Versailles, the French royal domain that’s so big—700 rooms, 2,000-plus acres—that “there is no shortage of urgent and exciting projects,” Catherine Pégard, the veteran political journalist who became the president of Versailles in 2016, told AD. “Versailles is unique not only in the immensity of its needs if it is to continue to live and flourish in this day and age but also in the extraordinary riches it has to offer to everyone, so it is only natural that our response should be a creative one.” 
For the benefit of Versailles, Hermès once created a limited edition scarf, Guerlain conjured up a limited edition scent based on Marie Antoinette’s favorite flower (that would be jasmine), and Saint-Louis is working on glassware that looks to 18th- and early-19th century examples in Versailles’ collections. Then there’s Château Mouton Rothschild, the legendary, premier cru winery in Pauillac, France, near Bordeaux, which has partnered with Versailles for a series of wine auctions. Says Pégard, “The entire proceeds of this act of patronage will be devoted to the restoration and decoration of the Royal Apartments in the Palace of Versailles and the fountains in the Grand Trianon gardens.” (Read more.)

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