More than 180 authors are expected at the Book on the Quays in Morges

The investigation of the Maison d’Ailleurs in Yverdon (VD) reveals several shortcomings in the operation and management of the museum. On the other hand, no criminally reprehensible act or serious malfunction or act related to harassment or discrimination is identified.

The audit, commissioned last summer by the Board of Trustees of the establishment and the municipality of Yverdon-les-Bains, stems from an article in Blick romand which noted the museum’s director, Marc Atallah, and several internal problems. He was specifically accused of involvement by relatives and government troubles, allegations which were denied by the director.

The results of the external audit were presented on Wednesday at the town hall in the presence of the city’s general counsel Pierre Dessemontet and deputy general counsel Carmen Tanner, the president Laurent Gabella and the vice-president of the board of trustees Gustave Millasson, as well as Marc Atallah himself. The report consists of 33 pages.

While it mentions no “staggering revelations,” as Ms. Tanner noted, the review finds “that the museum has experienced dazzling growth and significant public success without having the functional structures and finances necessary to develop it.” adjusted accordingly,” he summarizes the document.

Every part needs improvement

And the diagnosis is clear: there are significant gaps and gray areas at many levels of museum organization. This resulted in 30 recommendations in the areas of governance, operational management, finance and human resources. However, the investigation found “no criminally reprehensible fact or serious malfunction or act that could constitute harassment or discrimination.”

Both the director Marc Atallah and the board of trustees and the community are singled out. One word keeps popping up in the report: clarification. The roles of each entity are not clear enough, even confused, many operating rules are not defined clearly enough, project planning is often not clear enough and control is missing, budget and accounting need to be more understandable.

The working methods of the board of trustees are described by the auditors as “not very relaxed”. Likewise, the relationship is “not cheerful with a certain distrust between the municipality, cultural office, administration and foundation board”.

Trust Marc Atallah

In light of the findings of the investigation, the board of trustees says it has “all its confidence in its director.” However, the audit proposes a co-management to improve the management of the museum, with an artistic direction and another administrative manager, responsible in particular for human resources (HR). He also recommends the establishment of director monitoring through annual interviews and written targets, which do not exist today.

“I am satisfied with the objective results of the audit. Some improvements have already been identified. This audit is relevant and interesting to shape the future of the Maison d’Ailleurs,” declared Mr. Atallah. “There is work (…) that will benefit the museum,” said the man who has headed the facility for around twelve years.

The director said the current state of mind is his: “The desire to build the future” “because it makes sense” to him. Of course he wants to remain in office, but it all depends on the decisions of the foundation board and an approach that is becoming too “technocratic”, he said.

Two departures

The chairman and vice-chairman of the board announced that they would step down from their positions this year as they were no longer on the same wavelength as the majority of the board and implied that they felt they were being “outcast”. They added that they would also like to see a change in the representation of the community on the council, particularly with regard to Ms Tanner.

For its part, the city intends to “clarify” its expectations of the Maison d’Ailleurs by updating the agreement that links it to the institution. This also includes drafting a letter of mandate for the members who the municipality sends to the foundation board. His over-representation on the board is also determined by the audit. Ms Tanner also made no secret of the fact that “yes, there was tension” between the various parties.

The city of Yverdon subsidizes the Maison d’Ailleurs with CHF 560,000, which covers between a third and half of its annual budget. Established in 1976, the Maison d’Ailleurs is a science fiction museum and a gem of Yverdon’s cultural life.

This article was published automatically. Source: ats

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