Paris's Picasso museum opening pushed back to Oct 25

Visitors climb the stairs of the Musee Picasso in Paris on August 17, 2009. (AFP PHOTO PATRICK...

Visitors climb the stairs of the Musee Picasso in Paris on August 17, 2009. (AFP PHOTO PATRICK KOVARIK)

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, Last Updated: 1:15 PM ET

The reopening of Paris's Picasso museum after an extensive five-year renovation has been pushed back by a month to October 25, France's Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said Monday.

The museum, which houses one of the world's most extensive collections of the Spanish master's work, had initially closed for a two-year renovation and its reopening has been deferred several times.

Filippetti said the delay was to ensure "good security conditions" to display the works. The reopening will coincide with the 133rd anniversary of Picasso's birth.

The repeated delays have caused controversy, with the painter's son Claude Picasso accusing the French government of indifference and saying he was "scandalised and very worried" about the future of the museum.

The Picasso museum had been scheduled to reopen in June and it was earlier pushed back by Filippetti to mid-September.

The final bill for the refurbishment of the 17th-century baroque mansion in Paris's historic Marais quarter has also shot up.

It now stands at 52 million euros ($71 million), 22 million euros higher than the original budget, due to changes in the scope of the work.

Its exhibition space will be more than doubled to 3,800 square metres (41,000 square feet) after the renovation.

The museum has around 5,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs and documents, previously only a fraction could be displayed at any one time due to limited space.


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