The Holy Family with Palm Tree by Pierre Puget preempted by Marseille

Pierre Puget (1620-1694)
Holy Family
with Palm Tree

Oil on canvas - 217 x 148 cm
Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Leclère

22/6/08 — Acquisition — Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts — As implied in our news item of 17/6/08, the announcement of the auction of The Holy Family with Palm Tree by Pierre Puget provided an excellent opportunity for museums to make an acquisition. In this case, it was the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille which pre-empted the sale yesterday afternoon at 260,000€ (without charges) after a starting bid of 150,000€. The city will benefit partially from state funding, as is the norm and also logical, since very few works representing such an exceptional heritage value appear on the market.

After being cleaned and then going on display at the Vieille Charité, built according to Puget’s design let us remember, the canvas will enter the Palais Longchamp collections. The future of the Longchamp has yet to be determined. At the moment, it is closed and city hall is still wondering how to reorganize the management of the twelve museums in Marseille which it would like to see brought together in two “poles”, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes of 19 June 2008. One of these poles would be in fact the Palais Longchamp. No dates have been put forth as yet and we can only hope, as suggested by the new Culture secretary at city hall, Daniel Hermann, that the project will be carried out in different stages in order to avoid closing down the museum completely for several years.

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Didier Rykner, lundi 23 juin 2008

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