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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hommage à Pablo Picasso!

On october 25th 1966, Spain's and the world's greatest living modern artist, Pablo Piccaso became 85 years old. This was a historic event that needed to be celebrated by the arts community and the international jet set. Pablo Picasso was regarded in 1966 as a living legend. The "legend" status was confirmed after his death several years later in 1973 when he left a legacy of estimated 50,000 pieces, comprising 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs. So the French government found it her duty to honor this man by giving him an international exhibition compromising of more than 100 pieces of his best work gathered all over the world from private collectors, musea and even from Picasso's own private collections. Mounting this exhibition was logistically as an enormous task a nightmare, not to mention the security risks and the steep insurance fee to be payed to cover all these art works against theft, agression and arson. But finally on October 25th 1966 the exhibition "Hommage à Pablo Picasso" held in the Grand Palais and Petit Palais in Paris not far from the Champs Elysée as a retrospective of his artistic career could open its doors and welcome the man in who's honor all this was done. The complete beau monde of the 60's was invited on opening night starting with the French president and his kabinet members over other famous creative artists down to actors and actresses on the A-list, including Marisa Mell.
Although located in Rome, Italy and mostly working for the Italian movie industry, Marisa Mell had in the spring of 1966 a French movie "Objectif: 500 millions" premièred on the Champs Elysée. Although not a financial success it still had drawn attention in the public eye to the fate of the French soldiers and mercenaries who had fought in the Algerian war and the way the French state had treated them once back from Algeria often with no means to survive than starting a criminal career. The part of Marisa Mell was not overlooked by the yellow press who always could use a new fresh beautiful face to write stories about. So she was invited to attend this exhibition. What not many people know is that Marisa Mell had always been interested in painting and paintings since early childhood and meeting Pablo Picasso must have been a joy for her.

The exhibition was a huge success during several months until February of 1967 when it closed its doors in Paris to be moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands to have a second life during several months in the Dutch capital.

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