Picasso Museum Reopens, Late and Over Budget

The Musée Picasso in Paris. Photo by Pol, public domain.

After a tumultuous period of expansion and redevelopment, the Picasso Museum in Paris will reopen on Saturday, three years behind schedule and €22 million over budget, the Telegraph reports.

The museum is located in a 17th century mansion in Paris’s Le Marais district. The conversion of offices, stables, and basement has doubled the museum’s size. The additional space allows the museum to display more of its collection, much of which was left to the French state by the Picasso family in 1973. The institution’s new director, Laurent Le Bon, says the expansion offers “visitors a freedom which goes well with the spirit and the works of Picasso.”

Despite being considered one of the leading Picasso experts and curators, the museum president, Anne Baldassari, was dismissed by the French government in May after they lost patience with her poor management of the redevelopment. Picasso’s heir Claude reacted angrily to her dismissal. According to the Telegraph, he told the French daily Le Figaro that Baldassari was “the scientific authority who was has been responsible for the growth of the museum for many years.” He also labelled any potential replacement as an “imposter.”

Baldassari managed to put aside her differences with Aurelie Filippetti, the culture minister who fired her, and accepted her invitation to curate the inaugural exhibition. Executed in collaboration with MoMA, it will focus on Picasso’s sculpture.

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