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Picasso in Luzern

Many years ago, in Luzern, Switzerland, I walked over a wooden foot bridge depicting a dance of death in its ceiling and soon after, arrived at my destination, a Picasso House. There were about 15 prime Picassos on two small floors, and the only other tourists were a group of camera-wielding Japanese. For each painting, each Japanese tourist would photograph all of the others standing by the painting. You can imagine it took some time for them to work their way through the museum. If I'm not mistaken I was saving money by staying in a youth hostel in Zug, forty minutes away by train, and reading V by Thomas Pynchon. This was in the fall of 1989, and soon after, the Berlin Wall would fall.

As the French would say, if they were to say it, "La vie est tres dur, mais il y a toujours des Japonais."

(On March 8, 2014, when I searched online, I could not easily find the house I visited; rather, it appears there is a much larger museum that holds some of Picasso's art, but I'm not sure if these would have been the same paintings that were once literally housed in a house.)


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