French culture panel mulls Picasso studio future

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A French historical preservation panel met May 13 to ponder the fate of artist Pablo Picasso's Paris studio.

A legal group has owned the 17th-century manor containing the studio since before Picasso worked there and now wants to redevelop it - possibly as a luxury hotel.

Picasso worked in the Left Bank studio in the Hotel de Savoie for 19 years, and it is where he painted his famed anti-war opus "Guernica" in 1937 [after the April 26 infamous carpet-bombing of a defenseless civilian population in the Basque town, Guernica, by Franco's German and Italian fascist allies. Ed.]. 

Art lovers are up in arms and say the studio deserves state protection and preservation.

A selection of artists and actors have signed a petition decrying any possible redevelopment.

The Culture Ministry last year ordered a one-year pause to any development while officials considered the implications. That expires in July.

The panel meeting could put it on a national register of historic sites, which could make redevelopment more costly and time-consuming.

Whatever officials decide, the redevelopment "will in no way impact the historic character of the building," insisted site owners' spokeswoman Alexandra Romano. 

She declined to specify the "several" development plans being considered.

Alain Casabona, an official at the state-backed National Committee for Arts Education, says the owners want to make the building a hotel. 

The committee enjoyed free office space in the studio for a decade.

Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti's office said last week that she favoured stronger protections for the site and instructed ministry delegates from the preservation panel to vote to put it on a historic register.

Reposted from Morning Star

Photo: Pablo Picasso's painting Guernica, now in the collection of Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Wikipedia

 

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