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The day 20 April 1967, hired a Swiss plane in flight from Bangkok to Zurich, It crashed near Nicossia, Cyprus, more than 120 passengers on board according to Peter Staechelin, owner Air charter company "Globe Air AG". The plane veered off course to Nicossia route and after trying to land up twice, He collided with a mountain ridge, rising and returning to collide with another where disintegrated.
Peter was the son of Rudolf Staechelin, one of the greatest art collectors of the first half of the twentieth century. At his death, occurred the day 3 January 1946, his heirs deposited two works by Picasso in Basel Kuntsmuseum condition that could not be disposed of unless any of the descendants of Rudolf had economic problems.
"The two brothers", Rose period, painted in Gósol 1906, and "Seated Harlequin" (1923), a portrait painter Jacinto Salvado, whom Picasso harlequin dressed in a suit Cocteau came to the museum in Basel, until 20 years later, the plane crash caused the company Globe Air AG, Peter went bankrupt and thus Staechlin, son of Rudolf, had such serious economic problems that led him to communicate the execution of the testamentary clause ordering the sale of the works.
The history of the Kunstmuseum Basel is the story of collectors, patron, visionary, rulers with a special sensitivity for art, and especially, generous citizens.
For citizens of Basel, year 1967 It will be forever linked to the name of Pablo Picasso. Peter Staechelin received by both Picassos a juicy offer, but he preferred to offer them first to the Canton of Basel for the sum of 8,4 million Swiss francs. Government, seeing endanger the permanence of the two works in the city, He granted an extraordinary credit 6 million francs and called a referendum to decide whether the Basel's agreed or not with the granting of credit. The result was: 54% in favor (32.118 citizens) and 46% against (27.190).
But others remained to get 2,4 million Swiss francs ...
Thousands of people then took to the streets with the slogan “All you need is Pablo” (All you need is Paul), in one of the most spontaneous acts of collective patronage that are remembered and city dwellers achieved through public subscription complete the figure he had met the cantonal government.
Such was the expectation, the octogenarian Pablo Picasso from his retirement in Mougins, moved by the events, She decided to donate to the city four works more: Man, woman and child, of 1906, Venus and Love, and The couple, of 1967.
Such a gesture of Picasso, also encouraged patrons to coleccionisa and Maja Sacher, to donate to the Kunstmuseum that year, a fifth work, The poet
Events 1967 have contributed to today essential way to Basel is conceived as a city of culture, and Kunstmuseum, as one of the museums that holds on its walls one of the best collections of Picassos in the world.