FOR decades one of the world’s leading modern art dealerships, the Jan Krugier Gallery will close its New York headquarters at the end of this year and transfer all its operations to Geneva, Switzerland.

Head of the firm Tzila Krugier says: "I have decided to centre the Krugier company in Geneva where I live and where the family's business has been conducted since 1962."

She emphasises the gallery will continue to be active in the United States and will maintain, even strengthen, the relationships developed over 40 years with American art interests.

But, she added: "I have decided that the most efficient and effective way to conduct our business is to consolidate all operations in Geneva."

After Tzila's father Jan founded the gallery in Geneva in 1962, he established Krugier in the Fuller Building in Manhattan in 1967. It later moved to 980 Madison Avenue. Ms Krugier has been gallery director for 15 years.

Jan Krugier, a legendary figure in the modern art world, died in November 2008 after handling the work of Bacon, Basquiat, Braque, Alexander Calder, Cezanne, Degas and Chagall among others.

But the gallery is best known for having the exclusive rights to the 400 plus-strong collection of Picassos owned by the artist's granddaughter, Marina Picasso.

The Geneva gallery will continue to show at international fairs such as Art Basel (Switzerland and Miami), TEFAF Maastricht and the Paris Biennale.

The gallery will also expand its contemporary representation.