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Singapore branch of Pinacothèque de Paris shuts too

Founder blames disappointing attendance on closure of Asian branch of for-profit museum

The Asian branch of the now closed Pinacothèque de Paris is also shutting its doors, a year after it opened in Singapore’s historic Fort Canning Arts Centre. Founded by Marc Restellini, the Modigliani scholar and entrepreneur ran the for-profit Pinacothèque Singapore de Paris through his company Art Heritage Singapore.

The museum, which closes today, 11 April, presented high-profile temporary exhibitions, displayed works drawn from private collections and focused on local history. A spokeswoman for Art Heritage Singapore told the Singapore newspaper, The Straits Times, that it is "disappointed that this project did not succeed due to weaker-than-expected visitor figures and other business and financial challenges faced".

In February, Restellini closed the Pinacothèque de Paris, his commercial museum in the French capital, after the parent company, Art Heritage France, was put into receivership. Restellini said at the time that falling visitor figures and astronomical rents were to blame.

Meanwhile, Art Heritage Singapore is in a legal dispute with the Arthemisia Group, a Milan-based exhibition organiser, which put together The Myth of Cleopatra, the inaugural show at Pinacothèque Singapore de Paris, which opened last May. The Paris Pinacothèque presented the Cleopatra show in 2014. At the end of September Arthemisia took Art Heritage Singapore to court in Singapore over an unpaid contract. Iole Siena, the director of Arthemisia, says it is suing Art Heritage Singapore for €435,000. The Straits Times reports that Art Heritage Singapore is counter-sueing Arthemisia, claiming that the Italian company failed to fulfill its obligations, something the Italian company denies.

Restellini did not respond to our requests for comment.