Catherine Pégard (born 5 August 1954) is a political journalist. She has spent most of his career at Le Point where she was editor. In 2007, she was appointed adviser to President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and in charge of the "political center" at the Élysée Palace from March 2008. Since 2011 she has headed Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles that administer the Palace of Versailles. Pégard was awarded Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2012.
At Le Point
Pégard joined Le Point as a political journalist in 1982. She covered in particular the area of parliamentary news. When Denis Jeambar became editor-in-chief in 1988, as well as editor-in-chief of the political and cultural departments, Pégard became his assistant. After Jeambar left and became general director of Europe 1 in 1995, Pégard took over as editor-in-chief of Le Point.
Pégard published a weekly "Political notebook" in Le Point fed from the backstage of politics. At the same time, she discussed political news on Radio Classique with Jean-Marc Lech. From October 2004, she also co-hosted the show Les Femmes et les Patrons d'abord ("The Women and the Patrons First") on Paris Première alongside Alexandra Golovanoff.
At the Elysee
Pégard left Le Point in 2007, when she was appointed adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy. The appointment of a journalist-editor from a major newspaper such as Le Point as advisor to the President sparked controversy. Asked about the issue of relations between the press and politics in France, the reporter John Vinocur from the International Herald Tribune responded in an interview by Renaud Revel in L'Express (31 May 2007): "I think that you exaggerate the complicity of the links that in reality exist in all the democracies of the world. Journalists have become the scapegoats of a society at odds with its elites."
Independent advisor to the President from May 2007, Pégard in mid-March 2008 became the head of the new "political center" created by the Presidency, integrating the closest collaborators of the President. She was assisted by Jerome Peyrat, the councilor in charge of the President's relations with Parliament. Catherine Pégard subsequently was responsible for cultural matters at the Elysee.
Pégard was appointed to the presidency of the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles by the Cabinet of France on 31 August 2011, and took office on 2 October, succeeding Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who went on pension.
In 2013, Pégard endorsed an exhibition with photographs by Ahae, the South Korean businessman Yoo Byung-eun, praising his artistic qualities. Pégard disclosed that the exhibition was on a sponsorship basis, saying "The artist himself wanted to rent the Orangerie. But we never communicate the numbers." French Le Monde and British The Times wrote that Ahae gave €5 million (~US$6.8 million) to Versailles. Ahae is the sole patron of the Bosquet du Théâtre d'Eau (Water Theatre Grove) (fr) currently being recreated in the area of the Palace of Versailles, donating €1.4 million (~US$1.9 million). Following the sinking of the ferry Sewol in April 2014, Pégard's decision to rent out the Orangerie Hall of the Palace of Versailles in 2013 to Yoo Byung-eun, prompted French media as well as Korean expatriates in France to raise their concerns over French cultural institutions accepting self-financed exhibitions in return for donations.
Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (8 April 2012)
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- Hasquenoph, Bernard (14 May 2014). "La Philharmonie de Paris maintiendra-t-elle une expo Ahae malgré l'affaire du Sewol?" [Will the Philharmonie de Paris still hold an Ahae exhibition despite the Sewol affair?] (in French). louvrepourtous.fr. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
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- Mathieu, Beatrice (10 June 2014). "Ahae, artiste, gangster... et mécène du Louvre" [Ahae, artist, gangster ... and patron of the Louvre]. L'Express (in French) (Lexpansion.lexpress.fr). Retrieved 16 June 2014.
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Now Bernard Hasquenoph, the editor of Louvre Pour Tous, a website dedicated to the Louvre, has revealed that Ahae donated €1.1 million (£877,000) to the museum at the time of his exhibition. He then gave €5 million to Versailles. "He turns up with his money and he pays prestigious places to exhibit his work and buys recognition," Mr Hasquenoph said.
- Hasquenoph, Bernard (29 August 2013). "Ahae à Versailles, le privilège de l'argent" [Ahae at Versailles – the privilege of money] (in French). louvrepourtous.fr. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Un jardin contemporain pour le bosquet du théâtre d'eau" [A contemporary garden for the Water Theater Grove] (PDF) (in French). Château de Versailles. 28 January 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Bosquet du Théâtre d'Eau – Château de Versailles" (in French). Chateauversailles.fr. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- Launet, Eduard (27 March 2013). "Versailles redébusque son bosquet" [Versailles re-flushes its grove]. Libération (in French) (Liberation.fr). Retrieved 17 June 2014.
Dernier acteur de cette réinterprétation : le photographe, poète, peintre, entrepreneur, philanthrope (etc.) et mécène coréen Ahae. Ce septuagénaire très choyé par les institutions culturelles françaises a accepté de prendre en charge le coût du nouveau bosquet, soit 1,4 million d'euros. L'an dernier, les photos d'Ahae ont été présentées dans une expo organisée dans le jardin des Tuileries (Libération du 5 août 2012). Elles le seront à nouveau cet été dans l'orangerie de Versailles.
- Hasquenoph, Bernard (15 June 2014). "Au Louvre, le naufrage du mécénat" [At the Louvre, the sinking of patronage]. Libération (in French) (Liberation.fr). Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- La Communauté alternative des Coréens à Paris [The community of Koreans living in Paris] (12 June 2014). "공개편지 – 프랑스 문화부장관, 전 루브르박물관 관장, 베르사이유궁 대표에게" [Open letter [to] The French Culture Minister, former director of The Louvre, Versailles Palace representative] (in French and Korean). Pariscopain.fr. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Hasquenoph, Bernard (13 June 2014). "Affaire Ahae : les Coréens de France interpellent Aurélie Filippetti" [Ahae Affaire: The Koreans in France challenge Aurélie Filippetti] (in French). www.louvrepourtous.fr. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Oui à l'artiste Lee Ufan, non à l'affairiste Ahae" [Yes to the artist Lee Ufan, not the wheeler Ahae]. Association d'amitié franco-coréenne (in French). Amitiefrancecoree.org. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Le Monde: 'French people criticize Louvre for taking donation from Yoo'". The Dong-a Ilbo (English.donga.com). 12 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Un mécène bien encombrant". Le Journal des Arts (in French) (Lejournaldesarts.fr) (416). 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. (subscription required (. ))