The Real Deal New York

Aby Rosen gears up for legal battle over Picasso removal

Conservationists say painting would be destroyed if pulled from limestone wall

March 28, 2014 06:13PM

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From left: Aby Rosen, president of the conservancy Peg Breen and the Picasso

From left: Aby Rosen, president of the  New York Landmarks Conservancy Peg Breen and Picasso’s “Le Tricorne”

RFR Holding chief Aby Rosen goes to court next week in hopes of removing a Picasso from his Seagram Building, a dismantling conservationists say would cause “irreparable damage” to the fragile masterpiece.

Rosen, who owns 375 Park Avenue, in which Picasso’s “Le Tricorne” hangs in the Four Seasons Restaurant lobby, wants to repair the limestone wall behind the painted curtain. But the New York Landmarks Conservancy filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court to block the removal in February, claiming the wall is not in need of repairs, and that Rosen only wants to get rid of the painting.

“They’ve elevated this into something that it shouldn’t be,” Rosen told the New York Times Times, in reference to members of the conservancy. “It’s about a landlord’s rights. I want to do the right thing. I need to remove it and restore it. Then I will make a decision on what happens to it in the future.”

Although the Four Seasons’ interior was designated a landmark in 1989, the Picasso was not included in the designation because it is not a permanent part of the building. [NYT]Angela Hunt

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