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Surfacing on the market: Le Corbusier’s souvenir of Sydney

Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, Jørn Utzon Collection, 9-11 June

The Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who was best known for designing the Sydney Opera House in 1957, was also a collector of the art and design of his time. A highlight of his collection, which is due to be auctioned in Copenhagen, is a tapestry made by his fellow architect Le Corbusier when the two collaborated on the interior of the opera house. Les dés sont jetés (the dice are cast, 1960) is expected to sell for between DKK700,000 and DKK800,000 ($105,000-$120,000). Utzon and his wife, Lis, wrote to Le Corbusier to express their love of the work, calling it “a daily source of delight and beauty, not only for ourselves and our children but for all our friends and guests, too”. Unfortunately, the architects’ planned decorations never saw the light of day in Sydney. In 1965, the new Australian government wanted the building to be completed cheaply and quickly, leading Utzon to step down and return to Denmark.