Picasso exhibition coming to Richmond

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You don't need to know much about art to know the name Pablo Picasso.  Now many of Picasso's masterpieces are heading to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts early next year as part of a worldwide tour.

"All I need to do is say the word 'Picasso,' said Alex Nyerges, Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  "The greatest artist of the 20th century and really one of the greatest artists of all time."

Now you don't need to travel to Paris to see some of Picasso's most famous pieces of artwork.  The Virginia Museum of Fine Art will house the artwork starting in February 2011. Museum officials say the exhibition will bring thousands of people to Richmond.

"Picasso is golden," he said.  "He's a name that resounds across the globe, cuts across every line and, because he was so important, people will want to see the show."

The museum says the added visitors will translate into tens of millions of dollars for local businesses. Cassie Bryan works at the restaurant Caliente off Park Avenue. She says many of her customers come from the museum and says the extra foot traffic from the Picasso exhibition will only help business.

"We get a lot of run-off from the museum," Bryan said.  "I think it'd be just great for local businesses in this whole area."

With the exhibition starting in February, local restaurants say the timing of the exhibition couldn't be better.

"It's great for the restaurant business because a lot of the time we have a big drop-off in January, February, that kind of time before it warms up," she said.

The Picasso exhibition will be open seven days a week and will run through mid-May.  Richmond is one of only nine cities in the world that will house Picasso's collection.

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