The Mobilier National in France, the home of the country’s national furniture collection, is set to sell some antique items to raise funds for a Paris hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports in the French media claim that the organisation is compiling a list of items that could go to auction on September 20 and 21 this year. The French press has reported that some 100 objects could be sold, with pieces dating from the 19th century and the reign of Louis-Philippe I. The items selected by a commission made up of house curators will be chosen as they have no ‘heritage value’ or ‘use value’ in order to avoid a lawsuit in ‘dilapidation of family jewels’.
All the profits from the eventual sale will be donated to the Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France, chaired by the First Lady Brigitte Macron.
Speaking to Le Figaro, Director of Mobilier National Hervé Lemoine, said, “Our institution has never stopped renewing itself, and we must, more than ever, be by the side of those who are mobilized in the health crisis or who suffer the consequences [of dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak].
“While we have all been led to question and question ourselves, it seems to us, more than ever, that National Furniture, the trades and the values it represents, must be an actor in the reconstruction of our social model.”
The Mobilier National is the world’s oldest furniture depository and its role includes the administration of state furniture, such as furnishing official residences including the Élysée Palace, alongside conservation work and curating a modern collection. Many of the items within its vast collection, including furniture, carpets, clocks, ceramics and chandeliers are stored in the Gobelins manufactory in Paris.