Preparing for Yves Saint Laurent art sale

20th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

About 700 art treasures amassed by the late Yves Saint Laurent and his companion Pierre Berge will go on sale in February.

PARIS – Workmen in Paris were on Thursday attempting to recreate the homes of late fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent and his companion Pierre Berge inside a city monument ahead of next week's auction of their huge art collection.

Dubbed the "sale of the century", the 23-25 February auction of one of the world's top private collections is expected to fetch up to EUR 300 million.

Including works by Picasso, Mondrian and Matisse as well as old masters, Art Deco pieces and antique bronzes, the 732 treasures amassed by the two over half a century go on public display from Saturday at the Grand Palais, a 1900 glass and ironwork monument, 250 metres long and 45 metres high.

Christie's, which is organising the sale, said more than 150 workmen were busy building sets inside the monument that recreate the interiors of the two Paris flats owned by the pair, to best display the treasures that once featured inside.

The transformation work, along with the weekend exhibition and next week's three-day auction, can be viewed on an auction house blog at www.christie'

After Saint Laurent's death last June, Berge decided to part with the collection and use the proceeds for a Foundation honouring the designer's work and for a fund for scientific research and the fight against AIDS. Saint Laurent was 71.

"The time has come to dissolve this collection," said Berge, a 78-year-old business tycoon, patron of the arts and longtime committed leftwinger.

AFP / Expatica

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