France gets ‘complete unknown’ as culture minister

France gets ‘complete unknown’ as culture minister


norman lebrecht

February 11, 2016

‘She doesn’t even have a wiki page,’ wailed Paris hacks when President Hollande today named Audrey Azoulay as the new minister of culture, replacing Fleur Pellerin.

Azoulay, 43, is a backroom Elysee official, daughter of a close advisor to the King of Morocco.

She has a degree in business studies from the University of Lancaster. No track record in the politics of French culture. Could be really interesting.



  • DB says:

    “No track record”, if you discount her being Hollande’s personal adviser on culture… Anyway, she can’t be any worse than the one before.

  • Thomas says:

    How she got into her first role at the Elysée from the start, as cultural advisor to François Hollande, was simply because she is a very close friend of Hollande’s mistress, the actress Julie Gayet. She pushed for her to get the job. In France that is sufficient and the way things are done. Of course she has no Wikipedia page, why would she? That is not to say that she is incompetent. She graduated from the French bureaucrat’s school of administration, ENA, as most all of them do in France. She ran the national cinema center. France is a very closed society, run by a group of insiders who pull the strings and remain detached and aloof from the rest of the population. Note, she is the daughter of the advisor to the King of Morocco. Again, nothing Socialist about this appointment.

    • peter doff says:

      Suggesting that she got her job by sheer nepotism surprises me.We have never been aware of nepotism in the world of French politics.

  • Nicola Lefanu says:

    “Azoulay’s professional career has entirely been in the cultural sector, even if it has mostly focused on cinema. Whether her experience in the presidential cabinet has allowed her to become familiar with wider issues—artistic creation, architecture, protected sites, historic monuments and archaeology—has yet to be seen. “

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    She’s a Lancaster graduate, she can’t be bad.

  • Jacquie says:

    People are likely protesting on accounts of her being ‘unknown’ because she is not a member of their own or any clique; meaning, it would be a lot harder for them to use their contacts and friendships to get to her. Because, what would be worse than minister of culture you cannot control, right?

  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    IMHO, the logical choice would have been Fredo (aka Frederic Mitterrand) but I guess he is considered a traitor because he filled that role under Sarkozy. My guess is that the competency (or lack of it) of the new appointee is of little consequence as May 2017 approaches.

  • noam syman says:

    She is a terrific woman and besides she is jewish !!