Biggest Picasso exhibition in China to open

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Paris's Picasso museum will on Monday open the biggest exhibition of works by the renowned Spanish artist ever to be staged in mainland China in Shanghai, organisers said.

The three-month exhibition at the China Pavilion at the former site of the Shanghai World Expo features 48 works spanning the life of Pablo Picasso, including seven sculptures by the artist, who pioneered the cubist movement.

"We have been trying to find a way to open a show in China," Anne Baldassari, director of Paris's National Picasso Museum, better known as the Musee Picasso, told AFP in Shanghai, where she will open the exhibition.

"It's a way for us to educate two or three generations of the Chinese public."

The Musee Picasso is closed for a nearly two-year renovation, allowing several cities around the world -- including San Francisco, Sydney and Toronto -- to display pieces from the collection.

Sponsor Tix-Media, a privately-owned Shanghai exhibition company, said it cost nearly 1.0 million euros (around $1.4 million) to bring the works to the commercial hub.

Picasso was first introduced to China in 1983, when then French president Francois Mitterrand opened an exhibition of 25 of the artist's works in the capital Beijing.

The Shanghai exhibition spans all periods of Picasso's long career, from a painting when he was just 14 to one completed a year before his death in 1973. It includes paintings such as "The Barefoot Girl" and "The Dream".

The works to be shown in Shanghai were just displayed in Taipei. The museum is trying to find a venue in Beijing before the exhibition moves on to several other Asian cities, Baldassari said.

© 2011 AFP

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