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The unveiling to the public was an exhibition which opened on October 23 in the showpiece top gallery on the tenth floor and featured selected lots from some of the important sales scheduled for the rooms, the centrepiece of which was the Picasso portrait of Dora Maar which is expected to make over $40m when the Saidenberg Collection is sold in New York on November 10.

The stunning top floor gallery was designed by Richard Gluckman, an architect who has specialised in prestigious museum projects from the Picasso Museum in Spain to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The tenth floor offers 22,000 square feet of gallery space with panoramic views over Manhattan and is the focus of Sotheby’s bold new presence in New York City. It is part of six new floors representing 240,000 square feet of new space bringing the total available on all 10 floors to 400,000 square feet.

The project has been completed in a year and with the new opening the bottom four floors have been closed for renovation with a projected opening date of autumn 2000.