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This central auction venue in the heart of the Paris financial district is used by most Paris auctioneers.

Alain Cadiou, director general of auctioneers Piasa, who hold regular sales at Drouot, has been named as vice president.

The appointment of the eight-man board is part of a wider restructuring which began in June to ensure greater transparency following the widely publicised porters' scandal at Drouot.

Board members will serve a three-year term and supervise the running of Drouot Enchères, a new entity principally concerned with the renting out and running of the various salerooms. Their task is to balance the interests of shareholders and operators.

Maître Aguttes, who describes himself as passionate about objects and ancient monuments, called Drouot "a place unique in the world which, like a historic monument, has a soul that is a challenge to take care of". He said his task would be made easier by its extraordinary potential.

Drouot's new structure recognises five traditional activities of the Drouot group: auctions, publishing, valuation, development and the running of the Drouot buildings. This is administered and co-ordinated by a holding company, Drouot Patrimoine, under the presidency of the newly re-elected Georges Delettrez, with Olivier Lange as CEO.