The palace, the museum and the estate of Versailles has been a public establishment of an administrative nature since 1995, with independent administrative and financial management. It is supervised by the French Ministry for Culture and Communication.

At its head is Catherine Pégard, Chairman of the Public Establishment.

The consolidated annual budget of the public establishment is about 100 million euros. Operating expenses are financed by the establishment’s own resources, particularly from its ticket sales. Investment spending is financed by an annual subsidy from the State, the establishment’s self-financing capacity and sponsorship. All revenues are reinvested in renovations and acquisitions which are not covered by State subsidies.

The establishment enjoys sponsorship from companies and private individuals in particular thanks to the new provisions of the law of 1 August 2003. In 2010, the Palace of Versailles financed more than 10% of its total budget this way.

Development plan

In autumn 2003 the kick-off was given for the biggest renovation project the former royal estate will have seen since Louis-Philippe. It is to be spread out over 17 years and will cost 350 million euros.

The development plan is structured around four main ideas: 

  1. Reverting Versailles to its historical state by restoring the palace’s full radiance, with the completion of the restoration of the main wall facing the gardens, the Marble courtyard and the Royal Courtyard, and by continuing the restoration of the Gardens started in 1990, which was accelerated enormously after the storm of December 1999. The most spectacular transformation continues to be the reinstallation of the Royal Gate (dismantled in 1793 and melted down for its copper) between the Dufour and Gabriel Pavilions, and the restoration of the cobbling in the Royal Courtyard to its original level.
  2. To protect the heritage by improving the devices used for the security of visitors and of the buildings, by renovating the technical equipment, and by reinforcing the protection of the palace against the risks of intrusion and vandalism.
  3. To promote heritage by creating, in April 2004, an “Images and Civilization of the Court” Research Centre, and by reorganising and modernising the reserve collections and museum workshops.
  4. To improve visitor reception, by freeing up the spaces resulting from transferring the administrative and scientific services currently occupying the Dufour Pavilion to the Grand Lodgings, and by transferring areas from the National Assembly and the Senate. This will allow us to reorganise and improve visitor reception, to simplify the means of access to the palace, to expand the possibilities of individual tours, and to give visitors additional aids to comprehension. The renovations of the technical equipment of the Royal Opera as well as the creation of an underground passage connecting the Grand Lodgings to the Palace were completed in 2006.

Governance

President
Catherine Pégard

Head of Museum
Laurent Salomé

Executive Officer
Thierry Gausseron