"In the Garden of Nymph Ancolie", the celebrated mural by Max Ernst, which adorned the walls of the Corso dancehall in Zurich for many years, is to be restored at last. The BNP Paribas Switzerland Foundation is proud to support the restoration, which will be carried out in public at the Tinguely Museum in Basle, from 12 September 2007 to 27 January 2008.

The Zurich Kunsthaus has dug this monumental painting out of its collections so that its original beauty and artistic value can be returned to a work considered to be an essential part of the surrealist painter's oeuvre. Commissioned in 1934 by the Corso Bar, this 4.15 x 5.31m fresco occupied one of the walls of the dancehall until the early nineteen-sixties. But the wear and tear from its sojourn there, and the harm caused by its transfer to a new backing, severely damaged the work of art, which had been acquired by the Zurich Kunsthaus in 1965.

After being exhibited for 40 years, it was kept in the Museum's storerooms, awaiting restoration. Following detailed inspection, this impressive painting will at last regain its original spellbinding charm and allow us to see Max Ernst's composition as he created it. « We are extremely pleased to support this restoration, especially as visitors to the exhibition will be able to follow - on the spot, in a specially-created workshop - the metamorphosis of this impressive work of art which is such an important part of our artistic heritage », said Gisela Imbertèche, Secretary General of the Foundation. « Visitors will be able to watch the transformation and see how a painting that has suffered the ravages of time becomes again as it originally was. »

The BNP Paribas Switzerland Foundation, an active sponsor of the arts and supporter of social solidarity projects, has had an interest for many years in giving the treasures of the museums a higher profile and in preserving them for posterity. For example, it has contributed to the restoration of many works of art, including Rodin's « The Gates of Hell », in cooperation with the Zurich Kunsthaus, and the publishing of around twenty books on the collections of the Swiss museums.

The restoration of "In the Garden of Nymph Ancolie" by Max Ernst, which is on permanent loan by the Zurich Kunsthaus to the Tinguely Museum, is supported by the Tinguely Museum, a Roche cultural centre, and the BNP Paribas Switzerland Foundation.

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