The public prosecutor’s office in Paris has launched a preliminary investigation into French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen, after French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné reported Wednesday that the minister failed to declare building renovations in her prior career as a publisher.
Before joining Emmanuel Macron’s government, Nyssen was president of Actes Sud, a prestigious French publishing house started by her father Hubert Nyssen in 1978. According to the Canard, the minister expanded the company’s Paris headquarters by 150 square meters in 1997 and then again in 2012 — without telling the necessary authorities.
“No company is above the law,” Nyssen said Thursday in response to the allegations. “The compliance of Actes Sud is obvious.”
Breaching Paris zoning rules carries a potential fine of €300,000, according to reports.
“Sites & Monuments,” an organization defending architectural heritage, also said Thursday it intends to make a formal complaint against the minister next week over her breach of patrimony and urban zoning laws.
Nyssen faced similar accusations in June over renovations done in the publishing house’s outpost in Arles, a district in the South of France, in 2011. She eventually apologized for the infraction, calling it an “oversight.”