August 2, 2021

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Australian cafe where by The Beatles and Al Pacino dined to auction off 200 items of artwork as it closes down



a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: Italian restaurant Lucio’s in Sydney will auction off the art collection adorning its walls which is almost as famous as the food. Photo: Getty Images


Italian cafe Lucio’s in Sydney will auction off the artwork assortment adorning its partitions which is almost as famous as the food. Picture: Getty Visuals

Lucio’s, the legendary Italian cafe in Sydney that is putting up the shutters for good, is heading to be holding a closing-down sale with a change at the stop of February.

The 37-12 months-previous establishment where by The Beatles, Al Pacino and Mikhail Gorbachev have all dined will auction off the 200 artworks that have been hanging on its Tuscan yellow partitions on February 28.

The selection is a testimony to the shut friendships in between proprietor Lucio Galletto and many of Australia’s most effective-regarded contemporary and up to date artists, and it has manufactured Lucio’s a cultural desired destination as a lot as a spot for very rated northern Italian cuisine.

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Auctioneer Bonhams has still to launch the catalogue of the sale but it claims the assortment options functions by John Olsen, Elisabeth Cummings, Luke Sciberras, Garry Shead, Ann Thomson, Hilarie Mais, John Coburn, Tim Storrier and Sidney Nolan.



a group of people sitting at a table: Lucio Galletto in front of a set of 35 plates that 35 Australian artists have painted for his restaurant. Photo: Courtesy of Lucio's


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Lucio Galletto in front of a set of 35 plates that 35 Australian artists have painted for his restaurant. Photo: Courtesy of Lucio’s

It all began in 1984, a calendar year immediately after Galletto and his wife, Sally, moved their young company to the leafy Sydney suburb of Paddington. Nolan – whose landscapes in the lobby of Hong Kong’s Trade Square in Central will be common to numerous in the town – on a pay a visit to to the restaurant drew a sketch of renowned Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in a desk buy notepad, and Galletto was so happy with it he exhibited it in the restaurant in a gold-leaf-included body.

Because then, the cafe has been loaded to the brim with paintings, drawings and sculptures that the Gallettos bought or have been offered – and a distinctive established of painted plates. In 1998, Galletto invited 15 Australian artists to paint on ceramic plates to celebrate the restaurant’s 15th anniversary. With just about every passing year, a new plate was additional.



a person sitting at a table in a room: Art at Lucio's. Photo: Courtesy of Lucio's


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Artwork at Lucio’s. Image: Courtesy of Lucio’s



John Olsen holding a sign posing for the camera: Artist John Olsen (left) and Galletto in 2011, with Galletto holding Olsen's design for his dessert menu. Photo: Courtesy of Lucio's


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Artist John Olsen (left) and Galletto in 2011, with Galletto keeping Olsen’s design and style for his dessert menu. Image: Courtesy of Lucio’s

“Food and art for me is like the air that I breathe,” Galletto once wrote. “I grew up in the loved ones cafe in Italy wherever we had an art gallery, so it has often been in my blood. It is very essential for me personally and also, I assume for our shoppers as properly.”

This may not be the conclude of the restaurant, on the other hand. The family members instructed neighborhood media that they marketed the constructing before the Covid-19 pandemic and are on the lookout for a new tackle to restart Lucio’s. Most likely a new crop of Australian artists will see their works grace those walls.

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This post originally appeared on the South China Morning Put up (www.scmp.com), the foremost news media reporting on China and Asia.

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