A baboon climbs to the top of a circus ladder, and a group of performers lounge at a table, taking a break. Is the ladder an oblique reference to the Bible? And did Pablo Picasso draw himself and his new girlfriend as two of the circus players? These are some of the questions visitors will be able to ponder when Picasso's largest work, Parade, goes on show in Hong Kong next month. The three-storey stage curtain, painted by Picasso in 1917, will be on show in the Oval Atrium of the 88-storey Two IFC in Central, from October 14 to 31. The exhibition will be opened by French President Jacques Chirac on October 12 at a ceremony to launch the Year of France in China, marking 40 years of joint ties. It is the first time the curtain, designed for the realist ballet Parade by Jean Cocteau, has been displayed in Asia and the first time anywhere outside a museum. On loan from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the curtain - 10.5 metres high and 16.2 metres wide, and weighing more than 70kg - has been on public display only 10 times in the past 50 years. Deputy project director of the exhibition, David Dumigan, said it was a fitting venue. 'It is Picasso's largest work and this is Hong Kong's tallest building,' he said. Admission to the exhibition is free, but to protect the curtain from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light it will be on display only from 11am to 7pm each day. Free guided tours will be conducted in Cantonese, English and Putonghua. A team of more than 30 theatre professionals have been commissioned to install the work. This is expected to take more than 40 hours. The total cost of the exhibition is more than $10 million. Lawrence Wu, general manager of leasing for Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency, would not disclose the cost of insuring the exhibition.