“Hotel Ritz”

“Sometimes the greatest discoveries are hidden in plain view”. Interview with Joseph Friedman regarding the discovery of Le Brun painting at Hôtel Ritz, Paris

Paris, 25 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Art Media Agency previously wrote about the most valuable painting by 17th Century French painter Le Brun that was discovered by chance at the Hôtel Ritz, Paris, and is to be offered on sale by Christie’s auction house on 15 April 2013. As a fine-art consultant, Mr Joseph Friedman plays a major role in the renovation of the iconic hotel – a position which led him and a group of experts to perform the astounding discovery. AMA had the pleasure of hearing about the eventful finding from Mr Friedman himself right before he caught a flight to New York, in order to present the artwork at an exceptional preview to be held at Christie’s this weekend. Art Media Agency (AMA): What role do you play in the renovation of the Hôtel Ritz as a fine-art consultant? Joseph Friedman (J.F.): My task is two-fold, first to catalogue the hotel’s collection of historical artifacts and archives, and second to advise on the acquisition of additional works of art, furniture, and objects that will enhance the existing collection prior to the re-opening in 2014 AMA: Who commissioned the inventory of the hotel’s furniture? J.F.: I was appointed by the owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, for whom I worked as Curator of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s residence in Paris and whom I have advised for some years. AMA: When had the last inventory been requested before this one began? J.F.: My task is not to produce a complete inventory of the hotel, but to catalogue the more important contents. Previous inventories did not have this specific focus. AMA: How did the discovery of the Le Brun painting occur? Although you recognised Le Brun’s style very quickly, how did you overcome the astounding incongruity of...

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