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It will be the fourth two-year stint as president for Deydier, 60, who was in charge from 2002 to 2008 and oversaw the return of the Biennale des Antiquaires to the Grand Palais and launched the Salon du Collectionneur.

After a vigorous election campaign, Deydier gained 64 per cent of support from the 240 Syndicat members (out of 376) who took part in the vote.

A majority of the candidates on his list were also elected. He will be flanked by two new Vice-Presidents in Anisabelle Berès and Jean-Gabriel Peyre; Berès is one of seven newcomers to the 17-strong SNA board, which now includes a powerful coterie of Left Bank modern art dealers (Berès, Bob Vallois, Benoît Sapiro, Pascal Lansberg).

Although Hervé Aaron remains on the board, the furniture and Old Master dealers who have traditionally dominated Biennale politics are now thin on the ground with, for the first time in living memory, no Perrin on the board, and former Vice-President Georges de Jonckheere voted off.

Deydier faces two major decisions in the months ahead.

The first concerns the future of the Salon du Collectionneur, which has failed to justify its original raison d'être as a fair devoted to different specialities, and is widely viewed as a B-grade Biennale.

The second is to address widespread calls from prominent Paris dealers for the Biennale to become an annual event. Modern art specialist Luc Bellier and Oceanic art dealer Anthony Meyer both submitted trenchant discussion papers to SNA members on this subject.

Bellier also called for contemporary art to be part of the Biennale, where "too many galleries were not worth their place."

Anthony Meyer said the Biennale has become "too élitiste" and needed to attract 150-200 dealers. He suggested instead that the event be staged in future in a "temporary construction" at the Ecole Militaire (opposite the Eiffel Tower at the far end of the Champs de Mars).