Louvre to Reverse Renovation of Gallery Adorned With Cy Twombly Mural, Ending Legal Dispute

Dec 10, 2021 12:37 pm

The Cy Twombly Foundation and the Louvre have settled a dispute over an installation by the late painter installed in one of the museum’s galleries amid legal pressure.

The conflict arose earlier this year over a recent renovation of the room in which Twombly’s mural is installed. Claiming that the changes compromised the work, the foundation filed a lawsuit against the museum.

In a joint statement issued today, the two parties announced that the foundation had dropped the lawsuit in exchange for a plan to restore the gallery to its original design.





In 2010, Twombly completed the mural for the Salle des Bronzes, which houses the Louvre’s collection of Etruscan art. Titled The Ceiling, it depicts a cool blue background adorned with yellow discs and the names of Hellenic sculptors. Its palette originally complimented a neutral interior of pale stucco with limestone flooring. But following a redesign, two years in the making and signed off by France’s Historical Monuments Commission, the room’s walls were repainted a burnt red and the floor was replaced with parquet.

After images of the renovation leaked in February, the foundation wrote to the Louvre’s then-president, Jean-Luc Martinez, demanding a reversal to the project on the grounds that it fundamentally altered Twombly’s vision. The Louvre rejected the appeals, and the foundation filed suit the following month.

In the joint statement, the museum and the foundation said both are “pleased” to have “reached an agreement that will allow the presentation of one of the major works by the great contemporary artist Cy Twombly in a harmonious and coherent setting.” The museum will change the color of the room’s walls, wood panels, and display cases to lighter colors.

“The Cy Twombly Foundation is grateful that the Louvre and the French state have agreed to honor the spirit and character of the artist’s project,” the foundation’s president, Nicola Del Roscio, said in a statement.