As we reported back in June, the stage curtain painted by Pablo Picasso that has hung in The Four Seasons Restaurant since 1959 was to be relocated to the New York Historical Society on the Upper West Side. Just past midnight on Sunday, September 7, a team of skilled workers carried out the delicate task.
The curtain’s removal marks the end to a years-long dispute between Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the Seagram building which houses the restaurant who wanted to remove the installation, and city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, which took The Four Seasons to court over the matter. The commission feared the curtain was too fragile to be moved, but after the temporary bar of the removal by a judge in February as reported by The New York Times, the hotel was then allowed to proceed.
The 19-by-20-foot Picasso tapestry hung in the passageway that connects the Grill Room and the Pool Room, referred to as "Picasso Alley" by the hotel staff and the restaurant’s regular patrons. A steel scaffolding tower had been erected in order to take it down and the project’s lead technician, Tom Zoufaly, worked with his expert team to painstakingly remove the piece, which they carefully attached to a tube, slowly rolled up, and took away for cleaning. They took all night, but in the end their mission was a success.