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Visiting France

Picasso daughter donates works to Paris museum ahead of October reopening

media The Paris Picasso Museum's new director Laurent Le Bon AFP

Pablo Picasso’s oldest daughter is to donate a drawing and a sketchbook to Paris’s Picasso museum when it opens after five years of closure that were dogged by controversy.

Maya Widmaier Picasso is to give the museum a 1908 cubist drawing of a woman’s face, which has the lower half of a drawing of the face of poet Guillaume Apollinaire on the back – part of a portrait of which the other half already belongs to the museum.

The sketchbook is much later, dating from April 1960, and contains 38 nudes.

The gift is a show of support for staff working on reopening the museum on 25 October, after several postponements, according to a statement issued by Widmaier Picasso’s lawyer on Friday.

But it is also a gesture of support for Culture Minister Aurélie Filipetti, who fired the museum’s former director Anne Baldassari in an ugly row that saw accusations of bad management on the one side and ministerial interference on the other.

Picasso’s son, Claude, who represents the family on the museum’s board, weighed into the row in support of Baldassari but failed to stop Filipetti replacing her with Metz Pompidou Centre director Laurent Le Bon.

The museum owns 5,000 of Picasso’s works and the revamp has increased the surface area of exhibition spaces to 3,800m², compared to 1,600m² when it opened in 1985.

Background: Picasso wars - artist's son raps Paris museum's four-year closure


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