Acquisition process

Every acquisition application, whether free (donation) or in exchange for payment, is subject to the same appraisal and decision-making process.

Stage 1: conservation acquisitions meeting with the select body of the Scientific Committee

Presentation by the curators of the proposals for acquisitions, at the conservation acquisitions meeting with the select body of the Scientific Committee Stage, comprising the college of curators and museum president. Every proposal for an acquisition presented at this meeting is submitted for approval by secret ballot.

Stage 2: acquisitions committee

Presentation of prospective purchases by the curators to the Acquisitions Committee comprising 12 voting members, either ex officio or appointed by order of the Minister of Culture, and curators elected by their peers or appointed by order of the Minister of Culture.

Following a two-thirds majority vote in a secret ballot by members present or represented, the acquisition of the works is accepted provided that the value does not exceed the following thresholds defined by the Ministerial Order of 5 May 2017 fixing the value thresholds above which the National Museums Art Committee (conseil artistique des musées nationaux) is consulted:

  • Pictures and paintings: €200 000
  • Sculptures: €200 000
  • Drawings, watercolours, gouaches and pastels: €100 000
  • Objets d'art: €100 000
  • Photographs, films and negatives: €50 000


The artworks will then enter the national collections when the Decision, an administrative document ratifying the vote and confirming the president’s decision, has been drawn up. This document entitles the Finance Department to process the payment, where appropriate, and enables the Inventory Office to allocate an inventory number to the work.

Additional stage in the event of exceeding the thresholds: National Museums Art Committee

Any acquisition whose value exceeds the thresholds cited above is subject to submission to a higher authority, the National Museums Art Committee.

This committee, under the authority of a president who convenes the Committee at least six times per year, comprises 21 members, either ex officio or appointed by order of the Minister of Culture, with voting rights via secret ballot.

Following a majority vote, the works are definitively acquired after the publication of the Decision and the result of the vote. Following this procedure, the acquired artworks are given an inventory number, which is affixed to the work.

Regulations

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