Kunstakademie Düsseldorf: Donatella Fioretti confirmed as new rector – culture

The Düsseldorf Art Academy has a new rector. Her name is Donatella Fioretti and she was elected this Monday afternoon by the Senate of the Academy with 10 votes, two against and two abstentions. This repeated and confirmed an election that had already taken place in December, but was then cancelled. After a lot of internal wrangling and a brief student strike, the result from that time has now turned out to be a significantly larger number of votes for Fioretti.

The central question in this repeat election was how many votes Fioretti would be able to win. There was no opponent this time. In the first election at the end of last year, the then provisional rector and professor of art history, Johannes Myssok, lost the Italian architect by seven votes to eight. However, Myssok resigned from the interim post in early March and was no longer available as a candidate for election. Former Rector Tony Cragg had to take over at short notice.

Now everything is clear, at least de jure. Previously, the 61-year-old Fioretti, who runs a successful architecture office in Berlin and has held a professorship for architecture in Düsseldorf since 2017, had to overcome a number of hurdles on her way to the new office. The NRW Ministry of Culture initially refused to formally confirm the election because it had not been ensured “that the university members and the interested public could take part in the public meeting”.

Then there was the threat of disciplinary proceedings against Fioretti, which was justified by the fact that she had not disclosed all additional income when she signed her contract as a professor. This apparently meant her professional activity as an architect. The case is closed, after many of her colleagues who teach at the art academy showed solidarity with her and had pointed out that under these conditions many others would also have to be disciplined.

This time it was a face-to-face event, announced well in advance, so the Ministry’s concerns about procedural errors are unlikely. According to reports, the hope in the house is that things will calm down a little more.

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