Picasso Painting Snatched From New York City Restaurant

An enormous painting entitled Le Tricorne has hung on the wall at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City for over 55 years, and now it’s gone.

No, it wasn’t a group of highly-trained foreign operatives who snuck in under the cover of darkness, bypassing laser traps and motion detectors, it was actually a group of highly-trained specialty movers from the Auer Company according to the New York Post.

The Picasso painting was done on a large curtain, 19 by 20 feet in size, and Le Tricorne has been displayed in The Four Seasons on Park Avenue since 1959.

When the owners of The Four Seasons said they wanted to take down the Picasso and throw it in storage while they had construction done on the wall behind where the painting is hung, the New York State Historical Society took umbrage.

One of the owners of The Four Seasons dismissed the Picasso painting as a “schmatte,” which is Yiddish for “rag.”

The Landmarks Conservancy is actually the group that owns the painting. They claimed that the work that needed to be done to the wall behind the painting was unnecessary and removing the brittle Picasso from the wall could very well destroy it.

Le Tricorne, or Three Cornered Hat, isn’t considered one of Picasso’s masterpieces. When it was appraised in 2008, the estimate for the Picasso curtain came in at $1.6 million. Of course, that amount is nothing to sneeze at, but it doesn’t come close to the $106 million a 1932 Picasso sold at for auction in 2010.

However, Picasso biographer Sir Johan Richardson, says it’s still an important piece, according to USA Today.

“It was always considered one of the major pieces of Picasso’s theatrical decor. And it is sort of a gorgeous image.”

Picasso’s Le Tricorne represents Spanish spectators after a bullfight watching a young boy selling pomegranates while a horse drags away a dead bull on a skid in the background.

Pablo Picasso's 'Le Tricorne' In The Four Seasons Restaurant In New York City

Finally, after a lengthy legal dispute between art historians and the owners of The Four Seasons Restaurant (which is in no way tied to The Four Seasons Hotel down the street), the parties reached an agreement. The Picasso painting would be painstakingly removed from its current location in The Four Seasons, taken to an art restoration center for cleaning, and then proudly displayed in The Landmarks Conservancy’s Central Park West Headquarters in New York.

[image via The History Blog and The Daily Mail]