Friday, 24 October 2014
Visitors will again soon be able to admire “La Celestina” and “Dora Maar”: after five years under renovation, the Picasso Museum in Paris will reopen next Saturday. It will unveil a new offering from of the museum’s collection but the Spanish painter, the most comprehensive in the world. The date was not chosen randomly: it also marks the birthdate of the painter, born on October 25, 1881.
Located in the Marais district, in the heart of the capital, the Hôtel Salé, “is a magical place.” “It’s one of the finest private mansions in France. The space is incredible and perfectly suited to Picasso’s work,” said Laurent Le Bon, the new director of the museum.
The slate bearing the delayed opening and a particularly tense social climate within the museum, that eventually led to former director Anne Baldassari’s dismissal, has been wiped clean. A renowned expert on the Andalusian painter, Baldassari was entrusted with the inaugural hanging of the painting.
It is now time to celebrate a genius and rediscover a remarkable collection (4,755 pieces): this is the highlight of an exceptional artistic week in Paris, along with the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) and the opening of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
The Hôtel Salé was completed in 1659 and so named (“the Salt Mansion”) because its builder, Pierre Aubert, was a salt tax collector. It has undergone considerable renovation conducted by architect Jean-François Bodin and Ms. Baldassari.
The size of public areas has more than doubled, increasing from 2,300 m2 (including 1,600 m2 of exhibition space) to 5.000 m2 (including 3,600 m2 of exhibition space), and traffic has been optimized. “Visitors are now truly free to move around from room to room”, says Le Bon. The cost of the renovations totals 43 million euros, 65% of which were funded by the museum itself, through exhibitions of the 21 masterpieces held worldwide.