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Horloge de la cour de marbre

The Society

On November 3, 1907, Eugène Tardieu, a journalist with the Echo de Paris alerts to the deteriorating state of the Petit Trianon, expressing a desolation shared by many French and foreign visitors. "

He recalled the efforts made by the French State since Louis-Philippe and noted the low  contribution to Versailles in the State Fine ArtsBudget: "What the state can do incompletely, initiative private would have in other countries, already accomplished. "

A great movement of conscience triggers for the Safety of Versailles and the necessity of ​​a  Friends of Versailles organization becomes an evidence. Pierre de Nolhac, curator of the museum, offers his full support to the initiative. A founding committee is constituted. Alexandre Millerand and Raymond Poincaré, both future presidents of the republic, draft the  Articles of Association. On December 19, 1907, the Société des Amis de Versailles was born and has since then grown and developed in France, with more than 6 000 members today,  in the US and in Europe, through sister organizations.

Governed by the Act of 1901 on Associations, the Friends of Versailles, was state-approved as "reconnue d'utilité publique" on April 16, 1913.

The Friends of Versailles have developed their actions under the auspices of prestigious chairmen who worked with talent in its development, extending the remarkable action initiated by Pierre de Nolhac:

  • Victorien Sardou, in 1907, celebrated actor and author drama
  • Edouard Detaille, from 1908 to 1912, student of Meissonier, artist famous for his military paintings,
  • Alexandre Millerand, from 1912 to 1920, War Minister and future President of the French Republic
  • Maurice Palaeologue, from 1920 to 1926, Director of Political Affairs of the Foreign Ministry and ambassador to Russia during the war,
  • Alexandre Millerand, from 1926 to 1945, a second term
  • The Comte de Fels, from 1943 to 1951, a great patron,
  • The Duke Pierre de Cossé Brissac, from 1951 to 1987, memoirist and industrial leader 
  • Viscount Olivier de Rohan, from 1987 to 2009, Honorary Member of the Versailles Society of Friends,who worked with dedication and success in the development of the Friends of Versailles and the creation of the American Friends of Versailles.
  • Baron Roland Espée, 2009 to June 6, 2016. He created the European Friends of Versailles
  • Thierry Ortmans is president of the Friends of Versailles since June 2016