Behind its chic Italian navy blue, Paolo Baratta, at 79 years of age, the brain still rowdy who thinks aloud. An economist by training (Milan and Cambridge), three times minister between 1992 and 1996, it is since 1998 in the heart of the transformation of the Venice Biennale. Its 58th edition opens Saturday to the public.

LE FIGARO. You are celebrating your 20 years of Biennale of Venice. What are your best memories… and the worst?

Paolo BARATTA. – during these 20 years, I have not always been president of the Venice Biennale. I left it four years ago and I found it in 2008. The adventure was initially extraordinary. The Biennale was in crisis very strong governance, changes of status. They rested until then on a utopia in the plural and policy that involved the need to find a difficult consensus within his committee. In a way, it was a biennial, not a big biennale is open to the international world. This opening was previously left to the …

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