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Sony Building Murals May Be in Jeopardy After Sale

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The Chetrit Group's conversion of the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue into condos might also mean the loss of two iconic murals that currently hang in the building's lobby, The New York Post reports.

Noted abstract painter, Dorothea Rockburne had created two massive murals —'Northern Sky' and 'Southern Sky' over twenty years ago, a project that took her two years to plan and complete. But since the Chetrit Group's takeover of the building in 2013 for $1.1 billion, the fate of the murals have remained uncertain. The murals were a part of that sale.

Rockburne told the Post that she has been trying to get in touch with the developers for the past two years, but to no avail, and that she'd rather see the paintings be donated to a museum than destroyed or put away.

Developer Joseph Chetrit's son, Jonathan told the Post that the real estate group had in fact been in touch with Rockburne and were discussing future options for the paintings.

In past, developers like the Blackstone Group have restored murals like the one created by artist Max Spivak at 5 Bryant Park. The developer restored the mural to its original glory after completing renovation work on the building.

Chetrit's takeover of the Sony Building will see the creation of 96 condos from floors 14 through 36. A planned penthouse at the building was in the news for its proposed astronomical asking price of $150 million. In addition, when Sony moves its headquarters to 11 Madison Avenue, Chetrit also intends to open a retail store on the lower levels of the building.

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Famed artist's murals may end up in Midtown trash heap [New York Post]
· Sony closing retail store at 550 Madison Avenue [The Real Deal]
· All the 550 Madison Avenue Coverage [Curbed]