As director of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Philipp Demandt oversees art treasures worth billions. A conversation about excesses in the art market, status symbols and what constitutes real generosity.


Jan Diesteldorf and Gianna Niewel, Frankfurt

Philipp Demandt once said that a visit to the museum does not begin at the door, but with the first glance at the museum. Lucky that he is allowed to direct the Städel Museum, whose Neo-Renaissance building visibly contrasts with the glass tower skyline on the other side of the river. The facade has just been scaffolded for a major renovation, construction workers are drilling and hammering. Demandt spends millions to beautify the building. It’s quiet in the director’s office with a view of the garden, it’s raining outside and birds are hopping on the lawn. There is a stack of paper on the table: Demandt has prepared himself well for a sensitive topic.

By Chavez

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