Stroke of bad luck for Picasso enthusiasts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 May, 2012, 12:00am


Visitors hoping for a colourful souvenir of Hong Kong's biggest exhibition of works by Pablo Picasso are walking away with nothing more than a photocopied leaflet.

While a colourful brochure is normally a must at art exhibitions, organisers of the Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris exhibition at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin have not finished producing it.

The 14,900 people who visited the exhibition, part of the Le French May cultural festival, in its first three days were handed a black-and-white photocopy after production of the brochure took longer than expected.

Hui Chi-wai, 23, a designer who visited the show on Sunday, said she was not happy.

'I have never visited an exhibition like that without any brochure,' she said, adding that she expected better from the French organisers.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said it and the co-organiser, the French consulate, were printing 200,000 copies of the colour brochure. In the meantime, a catalogue is available from the museum shop for HK$350.

The leaflets are expected to be delivered this afternoon and be available for the evening session.

A department spokeswoman said the text of the brochure had been researched and compiled in France, with the French consulate pulling together the material and developing the content. The heritage museum's staff had helped with proofreading, but the whole process had taken longer than expected.

The exhibition, featuring works worth HK$6.7 billion, was announced in March. The Hong Kong government is spending HK$7 million to bring the collection to the city, while private sponsors are picking up most of the HK$20 million insurance bill.

As of yesterday morning, about 36,000 tickets had been sold for the exhibition, which runs until July 22. It is closed every Tuesday. Tickets cost HK$20, and guided tours are available.