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Selling Pierre

PARIS — Apartments are out; museums are in. <BR><BR>That’s the latest trend for Pierre Bergé, who is selling his two-room pad at New York’s Pierre Hotel — plus all its contents — and channeling proceeds toward the...

PARIS — Apartments are out; museums are in.

That’s the latest trend for Pierre Bergé, who is selling his two-room pad at New York’s Pierre Hotel — plus all its contents — and channeling proceeds toward the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Foundation, which inaugurates its second fashion exhibition here next week.

“I hardly go to New York anymore,” reasoned the former YSL couture boss, who commissioned Sotheby’s in New York, rather than his own Paris-based auction house, to sell his impressive collection of early American furniture and artworks.

Highlights of the art sale, set for Nov. 30, include a painting by George de Forest Brush, “The Indian and the Lily,” expected to fetch $2 million to $3 million; a pair of Tiffany floor lamps, circa 1900, estimated to go for $40,000 to $60,000, and an elaborate rosewood cabinet, circa 1860, valued at $30,000 to $50,000.

Also for sale is the two-bedroom corner apartment on the 38th floor, which Bergé bought more than 30 years ago, enlisting architect Peter Marino and the late decorator Jed Johnson, who blended styles from Africa, India and the Far East in a late 19th-century style. Units in that building typically go for more than $2 million and Bergé’s apartment is expected to sell for about $9 million.

Meanwhile, the foundation’s debut exhibition, “Yves Saint Laurent and Art,”will next travel to the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt March 1-May 8. After that, it is bound for St. Petersburg. At the invitation of the Russian government, the YSL/Bergé foundation will mount a massive exhibition spanning several locations, including the State Hermitage Museum and several palaces, displaying more than 300 Saint Laurent originals. It will start in mid-June.

In the Paris space, Robert Wilson has mounted a show around the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine, which Bergé plans to unveil to the press on Tuesday.