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World's costliest oil painting: Gustav Klimt's 'Golden Adele'
- Admission is being tripled to $50 on an extra weekday for viewing Gustav Klimt's art nouveau portrait :'Golden Adele" (Adele Bloch-Bauer I), the world's most expensive oil painting.
The 1907 oil painting of a Viennese society woman in an elegant gown was purchased for a reported $135 million by cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder from the US and Canadian heirs of an Austrian Jewish family, whose art collection was looted by the Nazis.
With crowds queuing up to view the 140cm by 140cm portrait in gold, the Neue Galerie museum announced it will stay open on Wednesdays, from noon to 4pm during the exhibition's run that Modem master Gustav Klimt's 'Golden Adele finishes on September 18.
Regular admission is $15 for adults and $10 for senior citizens ­and students. Normal opening days are Thursdays to .Mondays, with Tuesdays closed and Wednesdays reserved for members.
The art museum seemed unconcerned-that the premium entry price might raise eyebrows. The
came under criticism in 2004 for boosting entry to $20. The Metropolitan Museum of Art followed suit last week.
The precedent for our special viewing day comes from the Met, which does $50 special Mondays for its major exhibitions," deputy director Scott Gutterman said.
The Portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and four other Klimts were surrendered by the Austrian government earlier this year after a lengthy court battle over restitution.
The art work went on display last Thursday at Lauder's museum for German and Austrian art, after its
premiere in April in
, where the heirs waged a seven­ year legal battle with
News of Lauder' s purchase and old rumours about a love affair between the artist and his beautiful model whetted public interest in the art works.
We have had about 1,500 visitors per day, which is quite high for us," Gutterman said. "We expect many more in the weeks a head, especially as it moves toward the closing date."
Crowds line up from the door of the mansion-turned-museum around the corner onto Fifth Avenue.