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Marc-Olivier Wahler.

Marc-Olivier Wahler to Lead Geneva Museum of Art and History

Veteran curator and museum director Marc-Olivier Wahler has been appointed as the next director of the Geneva Museum of Art and History (MAH) by the Geneva City Council. The fifty-four-year-old Swiss native has led major international institutions such as the Broad Museum at Michigan State University and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He will succeed Jean-Yves Marin and will take up his new position on November 1.

“This appointment marks a decisive step in the dynamics of the museum’s renovation and expansion process,” said culture and sports executive councilor Sami Kanaan. “It shows our determination to bring this ambitious project to fruition and achieve a new vision by fully exploiting the MAH’s rich and diverse collections and its long-standing roots in Geneva’s DNA.”

Inaugurated in 1910, the MAH is one of the three largest museums in Switzerland. In January 2016, the Swiss government allocated $129 million for a major renovation and expansion of the institution. The project would have been led by French architect Jean Nouvel, who designed a modernist glass pavilion for the MAH, but his bid was narrowly rejected in a public vote in March 2016, and the expansion plans were put on hold. Currently, the museum is undergoing extensive maintenance work. The condition of its facade and roof will be accessed this month, and the cleaning and restoration of the building’s ornamental elements will commence. The work will be completed in October.

Wahler began his art-world career as a curator at the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland, before contributing to the opening of Geneva’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in 1993. He also cofounded the Centre d’art Neuchâtel in Switzerland in 1995, ran the Swiss Institute in New York from 2000 to 2006, served as director and chief curator of the Palais de Tokyo from 2006 to 2012, and headed the MSU Broad Museum from 2016 to 2019. He resigned from his directorship at the MSU Broad Museum in January.

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