Fifty-five tapestries created by the French royal Manufacture des Gobelins and by contemporary artists like Picasso and Miro went on display from Friday in Bucharest, in a world premiere.
"A selection of tapestries of such scope and quality is unprecedented," said Bernard Schotter, the administrator general of the Mobilier National, the French government’s treasure house of furniture and furnishings.
Staged under the heading "The Manufacture des Gobelins: Four Centuries of Art", one of the exhibitions showcases royal tapestries created between 1600 and 1800, while the other puts on display contemporary pieces woven after 1950.
Masterpieces such as "The Colossus of Rhodes" (woven after 1607), "The Triumph of Alexander" (1670-1676) or "Parnassus" (1692-1695) cover the walls of the National Museum of Art, formerly the Royal Palace, in downtown Bucharest.
Abstract and figurative works by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Le Corbusier or Joan Miro are on show at the Museum of Modern Art, hosted by a wing of the gigantic palace of parliament built in the 1980s by former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
"This is an exceptional moment," Schotter said, stressing that the works, most of which are the size of a wall, very seldom leave France.
"It is quite difficult to see our collection, the most important in Europe, because there is hardly any adequate space to display it," he added.
The two exhibitions will remain open until February 26.