Françoise Nyssen: the Paris prosecutor opens an initial investigation into the activities of Actes Sud

After the revelations of Duck chained about the expansion of the head office of the publishing house of which the Minister of Culture was the patron saint, investigations are entrusted to the Brigade of Punishment of Delinquency (BRDP) to know whether these developments have been made legal.

The Minister of Culture knows that a back can no longer be tormented. After pointing out to Françoise Nyssen the irregularity of the works in her stronghold in Arles, the Duck chained in his edition of 22 August, it revealed that the local Paris Publishing House Acts Sud, of which the Minister of Culture was the patron saint until his appointment rue de Valois, would have been enlarged "without a work permit or tax return". "Offices located in the Quartier Latin, rue Séguier 18.

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In a statement sent to AFP, the publishing house said that it would "take the steps that would be necessary" to regularize this situation. The office of Maître Franck Benalloul, lawyer at the Marseilles bar, was given the mandate to continue with "compliance with the urban development code".

This declaration of goodwill has not been sufficient. The Paris prosecutor launched an initial investigation to determine whether the expansion of the headquarters of Actes Sud, the publishing house formerly led by the Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen, complies with the city planning code, learned AFP from a judicial source. Investigations were entrusted to the brigade of repression against the person (BRDP) of the judicial police of Paris, about this work that in 1997 "without permission" or declaration to the tax authorities "in this classified building would have been done.

An illegal expansion of 150 square meters

The chained duck points out that in 2012, the offices were enlarged by François Nyssen "by 150 square meters", illegal, in any case without submitting a tax return. The work was carried out by SCI, the Séguier real estate company, managed at the time by Françoise Nyssen. Appointed Minister of Culture in May 2017, she led Editions Actes Sud from the early 1980s, founded in 1978 by his father Hubert Nyssen. She left the reins to her husband, Jean-Paul Capitani, when he was appointed.

The satirical weekly magazine shows the progress of the project and highlights the techniques introduced by the company. The work would have been done little by little to prevent the services of the city of Paris being disturbing. As required by the urban development code, services must be notified from the addition of 20 square meters. A figure that is well exceeded. Because the building is a historic monument, the current minister should also have contacted the Bâtiments de France.

On Wednesday questioned, the government spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, said that "the President of the Republic is committed to exemplary (…) and including the requirements of transparency." He then recalled that a minister who is being investigated "must leave the government". The minister has not personally responded to these revelations. After the revelations of Duck chained, Actes Sud announced that it would "take the steps that would be necessary" to regularize the situation of its offices. On Thursday, the publisher said in a statement that it "will provide all necessary explanations for the smooth running of the research."

"I have no doubt that Act South will do everything to highlight this research", the minister responded to AFP in a statement. "For my part, I will of course be available to the public prosecutor if I can be of any kind for the smooth running of the research," she added. Françoise Nyssen had previously said to AFP, after 24 hours of silence, that "no company is above the law" and that "compliance by Actes Sud is obvious," says he is very attached to "heritage preservation".

Shortly before the opening of the investigation, an organization for heritage representation, Sites & Monuments, announced that it would file a complaint against the Minister. The association accused Françoise Nyssen of "freeing the rules of heritage legislation and city planning" and "decided to file a complaint" early next week, according to a statement.

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In June, the satirical weekly newspaper had already sued the extension of the seat of Actes Sud in Arles, without the necessary authorizations in 2011, before it was regularized at the entrance of Françoise Nyssen for the government. The minister said she regretted "negligence". Blunders all the more problematic that the minister himself graduated from a school for urban planning, the Higher Institute for Urban Planning and Urban Renewal of Brussels.

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