In 1958, a year after Danish architect Jørn Utzon won the international competition for the Sidney Opera House, he acquired the wool tapestry from the famous architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier. A 6.5 sq.m. tapestry, Les Dés Sont Jetés (The Dice Are Cast) involved the city features and architectural details of the planned Opera House.
Utzon and his wife thanked Le Corbusier for the tapestry in a beautiful letter they wrote in 1960. Part of the letter said:
“For quite some time we have intended to write to you again in order to tell you how extremely happy we are for your wonderful tapestry. It is a daily source of delight and beauty not only for ourselves and our children but for all our friends and guests, too.”
In 1966, a year after Le Corbusier`s death, Utzon quit the Opera House project dissatisfied with the Australian authorities who wanted to decorate the interior quickly and on a low-cost . Sydney’s Opera House was opened in 1973, but without Le Corbusier’s tapestry or Utzon’s interior design.
Utzon was re-engaged by the Opera House Trust in 1999 when he completed the plans and design principles for the evolving building in collaboration with his son Jan.
Now, 57 years after Utzon’s work on this project and 7 years after his death, his dream will be accomplished and Le Corbusier’s tapestry will finally be placed where it should have been all these years.
The Sydney Opera House bought the tapestry from the Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen during the auction of Utzon’s art collection. The tapestry cost more than $400,000 and the money donated by philanthropists made this purchase possible. From now on it will hang in the main box office foyer of the Sydney Opera House.
sources: goldmarkart, srh.com.au