Salvador Salort-Pons (credit: DIA)

Salvador Salort-Pons (credit: DIA)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit Institute of Arts’ board has named the museum’s executive director of collection strategies and information as its new director.

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The museum announced Wednesday that 45-year-old Salvador Salort-Pons, who has served as director of the museum’s European Art Department since 2011, will become its director, president and CEO effective Oct. 15.

The DIA says Salort-Pons has played a key role in the museum’s strategic planning process.

“Salvador’s scholarship, extensive knowledge of the DIA, his international experience and his management skills make him the ideal choice to lead the DIA in the coming years,” said Gene Gargaro, chair of the DIA board and chair of the search committee. “His success in overseeing one of the most important European art collections in the country was among the many factors that made Salvador such an appealing candidate to the Search committee.”

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The native of Madrid says he feels “deeply connected to Detroit especially through the role the museum has played as part of the city’s extraordinary history.”

“I am honored and excited at this opportunity to lead one of the world’s finest museums. Over the last seven years I developed a deep admiration for its outstanding encyclopedic art collection and I have the highest regard for its talented and dedicated staff,” he said.

“With the tri-county millage in place and the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy successfully completed, I believe the DIA is poised to move forward in engaging our local and regional communities as well as advancing our international profile. I want to build on our visitor-centered approach, making our extraordinary art collection relevant to broad and diverse audiences. I envision the DIA as both a place for scholarly research and a leader in learning and interpretation, which will provide fresh knowledge, ample accessibility and opportunities to all our communities.”

Salort-Pons succeeds Graham Beal, who retired as director June 30. Beal helped to protect the museum’s collection from possible sale during the city’s bankruptcy and spearheaded a $158 million overhaul of the cultural attraction.

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