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ARTS > Battle looms over the Paul Signac painting

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Neo-Impressionist artist Paul Signac’s ‘In the Time of Harmony,’ made between 1893-95, is shown in the Montreuil town hall. The battles over the painting continues.

Neo-Impressionist artist Paul Signac’s ‘In the Time of Harmony,’ made between 1893-95, is shown in the Montreuil town hall. The battles over the painting continues.

A legal battle over a key painting by the Neo-Impressionist artist Paul Signac that has been housed at the town hall of the Parisian suburb Montreuil since the 1930s is due to go to a French court next month, according to the British-based Art Newspaper.

Signac’s great-granddaughter, Charlotte Liebert Hellman, filed a lawsuit demanding that the work be transferred immediately to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris after the piece, which hangs in a staircase, was vandalized in December.

Damp paper pellets were thrown at the work, leaving marks and tears on the canvas. The large-scale painting in the Pointillist style, entitled “In the Time of Harmony, 1893-95,” was donated to Montreuil council by Berthe Robles, Signac’s widow, in 1938, said the Art Newspaper.

“According to Agence-France Presse, Liebert Hellman argues that the work should be moved to the Musée d’Orsay for safekeeping. Montreuil council, however, defended its security and conservation measures, saying the painting had been repaired in collaboration with the regional office of the ministry of culture. ‘This restoration has, according to specialists, been exemplary,’ the council said in a press statement,” the Art Newspaper reported.

Yves Badetz, the head of acquisitions at the Musée d’Orsay, said the museum was behind Liebert Hellman and added that “we are ready to commission a copy [of the work for Montreuil town hall] so that the painting can be cared for at the museum.” According to the council, however, Guy Cogeval, the president of the Musée d’Orsay, has not yet met the mayor of Montreuil to discuss the situation. Liebert Hellman is the daughter of the late Françoise Cachin.

August/21/2012

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