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Cézanne exhibition extended as visitor numbers soar

Collector, Eberhard Kornfeld, lent several Cézanne paintings to the exhibition Keystone

Record numbers of visitors are flocking to see one of Switzerland's museum highlights of the year, the Cézanne exhibition in Zurich, as the show enters its final week.

The exhibition, which opened at Zurich’s fine arts museum in May, has proved so successful that it has been extended for two weeks. It’s the first of its kind to show a large number of unfinished paintings by Cèzanne.

“A total of 170,000 people have attended so far, and the target remains 200,000,” the museum’s press spokesman, Björn Quellenberg, told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper on Monday.

In the past 12 years only two shows at Zurich’s fine arts museum have surpassed that figure. The record is held by a Klimt exhibition, which attracted 250,000 visitors in 1992.

Not all the paintings are still on show in the fine arts museum. Quellenberg said 13 works had to be returned by the original closing date, July 30. He also disclosed that the works had a total insurance cover of SFr1 billion ($580 million).

Regarded as the most influential artist of his generation, Cézanne had a reputation as a perfectionist who destroyed many paintings that he judged unsatisfactory.

The exhibition aimed to show that the so-called “unfinished” paintings, which survived, remained uncompleted for aesthetic rather than technical reasons.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR