Major private art collection opens to public in Zurich

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A Zurich museum on Friday opened the first ever public exhibition of more than a hundred paintings from a private collection, including works by Monet, Matisse, Modigliano, Miro and Picasso.

The Kunsthaus, in Zurich, is hosting 109 paintings taken from the collection of the Nahmad family, Monaco-based international art dealers.

Among the family's private collection, which Helly Nahmad says runs to 3,000 works, are some 200 oil paintings by Picasso, one of which appears in the exhibition. The show also has seven Modiglianis.

It marks the first time that the family has put part of its private collection on show, said Kunsthaus director Christophe Becker.

The Nahmad family had bought thousands of works over the last 50 years, he told the Swiss news agency ATS.

A Jewish family, originally from Syria, they fled anti-Semitic violence in the 1940s, settling in Lebanon, followed by Italy and Monaco. The family now has two art galleries, one in London and one in New York.

© 2011 AFP

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