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Cy Twombly Foundation Sues Louvre Over Renovated Gallery

Cy Twombly Foundation Sues Louvre Over Renovated Gallery

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Cy Twombly Foundation Sues Louvre Over Renovated Gallery

Just weeks after denouncing the Louvre’s restoration of a gallery containing a site-specific artwork by American artist Cy Twombly, the Twombly Foundation has filed suit against the storied Paris institution demanding it undo the changes to the space, Artnet News reports. David Baum, a lawyer representing the foundation, said that the organization launched the suit after obtaining “no substantive response” from the Louvre in response to its previous overtures on the topic, which he described as “amicable.”The suit concerns a ceiling-spanning blue-and-yellow mural occupying the Louvre’s Salle des Bronzes and completed by the artist in 2010, a year before his death. At the time of its making, the work complemented the pale walls and floor of the sixteenth-century gallery, which had been redesigned in the 1930s by architect Albert Ferran. Recently, under the direction of Jean-Luc Martinez, who has headed the Louvre since 2013, the gallery was restored to its pre-1930s appearance. As part of the renovation, the fixtures were changed, the walls painted reddish-brown, and a parquet floor laid. The Twombly Foundation, which was not consulted regarding the changes, contends that the restoration, which foundation director Nicola Del Roscio is alleged to have learned about only through a leaked image, damages Twombly’s work and violates the artist’s moral rights.Supporting the suit, which does not ask for damages but only for the restoration of the room to its previous appearance, are former Louvre president Henri Loyrette, who commissioned the ceiling work, and former Louvre curator Marie-Laure Bernadac, who oversaw the project. Loyette noted that the changes “completely alters [the work’s] meaning and perception and disfigures it,” while Bernadac, who authored a book on the the mural, said, “The foundation appreciates and respects that Martinez may have his own vision for the architecture and decor of other rooms, but the intervention by the artist in this room is a permanent installation, and the work of an artist cannot be redefined and reconfigured to make it something else.”A spokesperson from the Louvre said, “The Louvre decides by itself which collections the museum wishes to present and its museography,” specifically pointing out that “in the contract, in the droit moral paragraph, nothing says the artist should have to be consulted for any museography changing of the room. In the introduction of the contract, it is said that the Louvre is a living museum that can change.”

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