Officials at a museum in the German city of Dusseldorf have discovered that a painting displayed at the site by the Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian, has been hanging the wrong way (upside down) for 77 years.

A major retrospective exhibition of the Dutch painter was launched on Saturday at the Kunsthalleung Museum, including among its highlights the display of “New York City 1” completed in 1941, but the museum revealed this week that this painting has been hanging upside down for decades at the site, reports a local Arabic daily quoting AFP.

“In a picture from 1944, I saw that the painting was hanging in the opposite direction,” gallery curator Susanne Mayer-Buser told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The painting, consisting of red, yellow and blue lines intersecting at right angles, was then shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York “the following year”, wrongly, according to Meyer Poser. When it was sent to the Dusseldorf Museum in 1980, the painting was rearranged in the same way.

The error may be due to the fact that “the painting does not have a signature,” according to Mayer Poser.

The direction of its display was therefore determined by reference to “the artist’s name engraved on the back of the frame by the benefactor” at the time of Mondrian’s death in 1944.

Born in 1872, Piet Mondrian is a key figure in the Dutch “De Stijl” (Style) art movement, known for its horizontal and vertical lines and primary colors.

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