Montreal

Nathalie Bondil sues Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for $2M over firing

On Friday, a lawsuit was filed against the museum's board of directors with Bondil asking for a million in moral damages and a million in punitive damages.

Bondil's contract was abruptly terminated in July after 13 years at helm of museum

In her lawsuit, former Montreal Museum of Fine Arts director Nathalie Bondil accused the museum's board of directors of orchestrating a 'smear campaign' against her. (Radio-Canada)

The former director and chief curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Nathalie Bondil, is suing her ex-employer for $2 million over her sudden termination in July.

On Friday, a lawsuit was filed against the museum's board of directors, with Bondil asking for $1 million in moral damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

The document referred to the board of directors' behaviour as "abusive" and said that Bondil's "honour and reputation" had been undermined as a result of her sudden firing.

"The defendants orchestrated, led and continue to lead, intentionally, a smear campaign against the reputation of Mme Bondil for the sole and unique purpose of masking the true reason that they abruptly and maliciously dismissed Mme Bondil," reads the lawsuit.

Along with her financial demands, Bondil is asking that if her suit is successful, the museum publish the court's decision on its website for at least three months.

Following an investigation into psychological harassment allegations this summer, the museum's board justified their firing of Bondil by saying she had failed to address a toxic workplace.

Bondil offered her own explanation for her sudden termination after 13 years at the helm of the museum. She believes her firing is connected to her questioning of a hiring decision by the board.

She argued that Mary-Dailey Desmarais — recently named director of the curatorial division —  wasn't the best candidate for the job.

Desmarais is part of the powerful Desmarais family, which is one of the museum's biggest donors.

Quebec's Culture Ministry has ordered an independent firm to look into the museum's management.

CBC News has reached out to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for comment.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada

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