Art Market

A Palais de Tokyo representative was dismissed after posting threats against Greta Thunberg online.

Christy Kuesel
Sep 30, 2019 3:43PM, via Artforum

Greta Thunberg at European Parliament. Photo courtesy European Parliament, via Wikimedia Commons.

The president of Amis du Palais de Tokyo (Friends of the Palais de Tokyo), Bernard Chenebault, has been fired after issuing violent threats against 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg on Facebook. In response to a Slate article on Thunberg, Chenebault called her a “madwoman” who “we must shoot down,” adding: “I hope an off-center person shoots her.”

In a series of posts on Twitter, the Palais de Tokyo wrote that they “disapprove of these words and disassociate ourselves from this position,” adding that the general assembly of the Friends of the Palais de Tokyo will meet as soon as possible to elect a new leader. In Chenebault’s role as president of the Friends of the Palais de Tokyo, he supervised a network of patrons and undertook community outreach for Europe’s largest center of contemporary art.

On Facebook yesterday, according to Artforum, Chenebault wrote:

I deeply regret these words that have struck many people, to whom I apologize for the outrage they have felt. Of course, I don’t call for the murder of Greta Thunberg and ask you to believe that in Facebook's ‘game,’ my words totally slipped out of my thought and intention. These personal words have no connection with the association of Amis du Palais de Tokyo, nor with the Palais de Tokyo, which I regret to have embarrassed.

Chenebault made a comment in 2017 concerning the placement of a mural by Cameroonian artist Barthélémy Toguo in a metro station in Paris’s Château Rouge neighborhood, saying the initiative resembled giving “pearls to swine,” and then referencing the area’s Muslim population. The Facebook post has since been deleted.

Christy Kuesel