Paolo Baratta Out as Venice Biennale Head

Mr. Baratta.

The former banker Paolo Baratta, who has served as head of the Venice Biennale from 1998 to 2000, and from 2007 until just now, has been dismissed as chairman from the Biennale Foundation.

The Art Newspaper reports that his successor Giulio Malgara is generally viewed to be a political crony, and in this way fits the traditional mold of a Biennale chairman. Mr. Malgara “brought Gatorade and Quaker Oats to Italy and founded Auditel, a company that collects statistics about television usage.” The current mayor of Venice, along with a former mayor, have already decried the decision to replace Mr. Baratta, who is also president of the Venice Film Festival.

Barring any problems with his confirmation, Mr. Malgara is expected to take over early in 2012.