Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Picasso Espied, Spurned

The Paris Police Museum is exhibiting 40 years worth of documents from police spying on Pablo Picasso. The documents were stolen by the Nazis and then from the Nazis by the Russians only to be unearthed and returned in 2000.

Among the documents' revelations: Picasso applied for French citizenship in 1940 (moments before you-know-what) and was rejected on the grounds that he had Communist sympathies. The police began spying on Picasso when he arrived in Paris in 1901. (Here that, John? You weren't the only one!) One report "painted the 19-year-old artist as a rebel who 'sometimes stays out all night.' It said his concierge had never heard him express subversive opinions but that Picasso's French was so bad that he was hard to understand at all."

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