Pierre Bergé, long-time business partner and companion of Yves Saint Laurent, dies at 86 – France 24

Pierre Bergé, long-time business partner and companion of Yves Saint Laurent, dies tat 86 – France 24

Friday, September 8, 2017

2:45 PM

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© Stéphane de Sakutin AFP | French businessman Pierre Berge pictured on February 11, 2015, at his office in Paris.

Pierre Bergé, the long-time companion and business partner of legendary French designer Yves Saint Laurent, died Friday at the age of 86.

In a joint statement to AFP, two foundations that Bergé founded with Saint Laurent announced that he had died at his home following a "long illness".

"The Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris and the Jardin Majorelle Foundation in Marrakech announce with great sadness the death of their president and founder Pierre Bergé on Friday, September 8 at 5:39am at his home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence", the statement said.

A passionate bibliophile and art collector, he was also a tireless campaigner for gay rights and donated a large part of his fortune to AIDS research.

Politically engaged to the end, Bergé was an important backer and confidant of former president François Mitterrand, and this year he threw his support behind Emmanuel Macron’s successful campaign for the Élysée Palace.

A ‘prince’ of the arts and noble causes

France’s former culture minister Jack Lang led the early tributes to a man he called a "true prince of the arts and culture".

"He was a magician who made his life, and those [of] whom he loved, a symphony of happiness," he said.

"Pierre Bergé was, above all, a marvellous and loyal friend … who was there to take on all the good fights, the noble causes, in particular to provide the means for research to defeat AIDS."

Bergé and Saint Laurent were joined in a civil union a few days before the designer died of a brain tumour in 2008 at age 71.

© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent

Two museums dedicated to the career of Saint Laurent are slated to open in October, one at his long-time former studio at 5 avenue Marceau in Paris and the other in Marrakech, one of his favourite cities. Laurent and Bergé first visited the Moroccan city in the mid-1960s and quickly bought a house there.

“Yves Saint Laurent and I discovered Marrakech in 1966, and we never left,” Bergé told Bloomberg earlier this year. “This city deeply influenced Saint Laurent’s life and work, particularly his discovery of colour.”

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris will open on October 3 and will coincide with the inauguration of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech near the Jardin Majorelle.

© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2017-09-08

Clipped from: http://www.france24.com/en/20170908-pierre-berge-former-business-partner-companion-yves-saint-laurent-dies-86?ref=tw_i

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