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The New-York Historical Society is to unveil Pablo Picasso's iconic painted theater curtain, commissioned for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Le Tricorne, in 1919. The masterpiece is the largest work by the Spanish born artist in America. It was donated by the Landmarks Conservancy to the New-York Historical Society and after considerable conservation will be on view to the public, later this spring. The Le Tricorne curtain was installed as a tapestry for 55 years at the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Mies van der Rohe designed, modernist, Seagram Building, in New York City.

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In the dead of night, a 95-year-old Picasso went under the knife.

“Anything goes wrong, just stop what you’re doing,” the lead technician, Tom Zoufaly, commanded. “I don’t want to hear any screaming, yelling.”

The scene of the operation was the Four Seasons restaurant on Park Avenue, home since 1959 to “Le Tricorne,” a 19-by-20-foot stage curtain painted by Pablo Picasso. The curtain had been caught in a dispute between the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which owns the piece, and Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the landmark Seagram Building, where it resided. Mr. Rosen wanted it taken away.

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 After an ongoing battle, it has been decided that Pablo Picasso’s “Le Tricorne,” a centerpiece of New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant, will be removed from the establishment. The 19-by-20-foot stage curtain, which has resided in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue since 1959, will be relocated to the New-York Historical Society.  

Back in February, officials announced that the tapestry would need to be removed so that the wall behind it could be repaired. However, many experts feared that the delicate masterpiece could be severely damaged in the removal process. The tapestry’s owner, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, entered into a dispute with the Seagram Building's owner, Aby Rosen, a prominent figure in real estate and art circles. After heading to court and spending weeks negotiating the fate of “Le Tricorne,” Rosen and Peg Breen, president of the conservancy, agreed that the Historical Society would be a deserving home for the tapestry. The piece, which is the largest work by Picasso in the United States, will be the focal point of the society’s second-floor gallery.

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Tuesday, 04 February 2014 13:37

Four Seasons to Remove Picasso Tapestry

The Four Seasons Restaurant on Park Avenue in New York City will remove Pablo Picasso’s ‘Le Tricorne’ from its lobby. The 19-foot-tall tapestry has hung in the Seagram Building, home to the Four Seasons, for over 55 years. The work will be removed so that the wall behind the tapestry can be repaired. However, many experts fear that the masterpiece could be severely damaged in the removal process.

While the Seagram Building is owned by RFR Holding, the Picasso tapestry is owned by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Peg Breen, the president of the Conservancy, believes that once the painting is removed, RFR Holding’s executive, Aby Rosen, will replace it with a more contemporary work of art. The Museum of Modern Art has offered to keep the tapestry in storage if it does not return to the Four Seasons.

‘Le Tricorne’ is slated to be removed on February 9, 2014.

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