Friderici News | A Botero dance at the Beau-Rivage

Thumbnail of the article: A Botero dance at the Beau-Rivage
24 August 2017

A Botero dance at the Beau-Rivage

Fine Arts

Since Thursday morning, the monumental work of “Dancers” has taken pride of place in the lobby of the Beau-Rivage.

A delicate transport

But before this imposing bronze by the Colombian artist could be seen in the colonnaded hall, the load of more than a ton had to be transported using a tried and tested technique. The Friderici Special company had to go around the building to bring the crate to the south terrace of the hotel – a tricky route with this bulky parcel sometimes rocking on its wheels and loosening a few paving stones in the process.

Even though we often transport lighter sculptures, weighing 200-300 kilos, the biggest uncertainty lay in what we would discover in the box,” says Claude Chatelan, team leader. We didn’t know how it was laid out and whether it would be easy to get the straps to take it out.

The operation was finally carried out with a small winch crane that hoisted the sculpture, finally unveiled to the eyes of the intrigued Palace residents, to the top of the steps of the terrace, duly tied with ties that could support a load of 4,000 kilos. All that remained was to roll it on rubber plates – taking care not to pick up a chandelier in the process – to the reception area, without hesitating to guide it with a firm hand over the woman’s fleshy buttocks, with one last hesitation as to its final disposition.

Should the man’s rather geometric but clearly visible sex be visible upon entry? The question, potentially sensitive for an oriental clientele, had been debated beforehand. The doubt does not last and the sculpture is placed so as to present its profile without fear of opprobrium. “It is art, we assume”, claims the director.

A merchant to convince

The main difficulty lay not in the handling of the piece, but in getting this exceptional Botero out of the Zurich free port and into the public eye. This project was initiated almost three years ago by a doctor from Lausanne who preferred to remain anonymous.

His privileged relations with Colombia, coupled with a long-standing passion for an extremely popular artist whom his father adored, enabled him to overcome all the obstacles – and they were many! – before convincing the art dealer Felipe Grimberg, known for having sold some 400 works by Botero, to entrust him with The Dancers.

He covered all the costs of transporting the work out of the free port, which amounted to 8% of its estimated value. The sculpture is valued at 2 million francs. Buyers are advised that it is possible to acquire it during its stay in Lausanne. If not, it should soon find the shadow of its Zurich warehouse. (24 hours).

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