Jean Sebastien Fiorucci is an entrepreneur, former director of Cabinet du President du Parlement du Monaco, Advisor of the Ministry of Finance and Economy in Monaco. He is also a man of principles, a warm and elegant presence, who avidly supports the arts and is passionate about history.
Franz Sedlacek, Mountain landscape with automobile, 1931 // Franz Sedlacek is one of Sebastien Fiorucci's favourite artists
What background and qualifications do you think one needs in order to enter the world of politics? More than education, first of all you should possess a taste for public affairs. And it also takes a great perseverance to find your place on the political scene. As for me, I had a solid education in law, which led to my doctorate and then to teaching, but there is no privileged path.In France, even senior officials who graduated political science schools and Ecole Nationale de l’Administration (E.N.A) are poorly represented in the parliament anymore.
Taking into account the latest discussions regarding the new president of France, do you think age is relevant when it comes to politics? In Western Europe, we have to admit that starting with the end of World War II and until very recently, politicians have been rather men and seniors. The election of a man under 40 years old in France, after that of David Cameron in England, Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg, Matteo Renzi in Italy or Alexis Tsipras in Greece shows that there is a younger generation who no longer wishes to be relegated to a supporting role, which is a good thing.
I know you’ve been involved in politics for more than 10 years. Most of the young people who join a party aim to make a change to the society. What was your purpose in the beginning? Did you manage to reach your initial goals? When I’ve started my political carrier, very young, it was to change the world... after a while in this very special environment I revised my ambition downwards. First of all because, being French, I have developed a universalist vision on politics which, since 1789, has been keeping the population under the illusion that they can give lessons to the rest of the world. Then, when I’ve changed my nationality and became a Monegasque, I must confess that my initial ambitions were reduced to the size of the territory on which my citizenship should henceforth be exercised. Today I am 42 and I think that until my last breath I will keep the desire to lead my country towards an ideal of justice and freedom.
Illustration by George Roux for Jules Verne's 80 Days Around the World
What would you tell now to your 10 years younger self? I would tell him to trust himself. To never give up and to expect difficult times. But I would also tell him that there is nothing more rewarding than getting things moving in the right direction, even if it’s only from time to time.
Have you watched House of Cards? These series managed to stir numerous controversies. How realistic do you find this show? I must confess that I am a real fan of the series and that I find it particularly realistic, taking into account its genre. On the other hand, it can show a terrifying picture of the political world for those who are naive. As for me, I think we must confront reality as early as possible if we decide to take part in politics. Otherwise you’d better watch television or read a newspaper and leave others do this job.
Usually people lose their enthusiasm immediately after the end of an electoral campaign. How difficult is for a politician to keep his promises? People’s disappointment is natural because during a political campaign, under the pressure of other competitors, but also of voters, politicians are urged to provide solutions to all problems and be up to everybody’s expectations. However, once elected they realise that often the various expectations are contradictory and are, therefore, forced to make choices. When elected, a politician becomes a man of power, rarely he becomes a statesman, but in any case, he must set priorities. The voters or minorities who are benefiting from these priorities will be satisfied, but all the others will be disappointed. It’s the very definition of politics.
You seem to have taken a step back a few years ago as a politician. Do you miss it? Politics is a virus for which there is no vaccine. I have learned to live with it without suffering.
They say there are two very different models when it comes to creative industries: one that focuses more on cultural entrepreneurship, profits and self-sustainable projects, which became much more visible along with Cool Britannia and a more left-wing one, in which the state plays a very important role in shaping the cultural environment and a higher percent of projects are state funded. Which one do you think would fit better the political context in Romania? Undoubtedly, the model in which the state plays the sponsor’s role, or at least spends the necessary means for the safeguarding and enhancement of its national patrimony, is the most advantageous for the artists. However this model requires the allocation of an incompressible part of the state budget to the culture, which may seem secondary in a difficult economical environment. I think that in times of crisis, culture is more than ever essential, as it gives hope to those who have almost nothing, because culture belongs to all and any citizen is its depository. The other model is the one adopted by the United States, where it works very well because they have a very powerful cultural industry. In New York we are able to admire the collections of the great museums constituted thanks to the donations of private benefactors, to see museums like the Guggenheim entirely built by one single family. In a country where everything was built in barely more than 200 years, this model probably makes sense, but I do not think that in Europe, where our civilisation has several thousand years, the culture must be left in the hands of the private sector.
Which recently seen exhibitions have had an impact on you? Three weeks ago, in Vienna, I had the chance to enjoy the last days of the Egon Schiele exhibition at the Albertina Museum, in which several dozen of his self-portraits were presented. This artist is exciting and I was impressed by the freedom he made use of to leave a testimony of its own time.
Franz Sedlacek, The Library
In an increasing digitalised world, people tend to connect with each other more and more through online means. Do you think a face to face encounter could add extra value to an interaction? Virtuality has the advantage of offering the possibility to reach people without moving physically. However, I think art, for example, is very carnal and requires the stimulation of all senses.
By now I think you are familiar with my vision regarding Rosumovi. What’s your opinion on this project?Do you think you can summarise it in a drawing or in one word? My pen is more skillful writing words than my pencil drawing.This is how I would summarise Rosumovi: a link between a glorious past and the still fuzzy modernity, a concept which has the potential to continuously reinvent itself.