May 23, 2018

Picasso self-portrait valued at $70M damaged shortly before art auction begins

17 May 2018, 08:09 | Melvin Schneider

PICASSO Le Marin Shutterstock Christie's


A PICASSO self-portrait worth an estimated €60million has been withdrawn from an auction in the U.S. today after it was "accidentally damaged".

But the painting was pulled shortly before it was due to go under the hammer, with the auction house announcing the artwork was "accidentally damaged Friday during the final stages of preparation" and that it would now require restoration.

Bloomberg reported Steve Wynn, a former casino owner and businessman, owned the painting, and had consigned it and two others to Christie's for auction.

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Christie's added, "No further information is available at this time". On Monday, Christie's said it pulled another Picasso from the auction - a 1964 portrait of a woman with a cat, "Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil", estimated at $25 million to $35 million. In 2006, the billionaire accidentally poked an elbow through Picasso's 1932 Le Reve, while showing it off to guests in Las Vegas. The auction house is not saying how it was damaged. The painting was restored and eventually sold for $US155 million. In 1997, Christie's auctioned "Le Marin" off for $8.8 million and then Wynn purchased the oil on canvas painting in a private deal. The total sale for the three was expected to be as high as $135 million.

Wynn is said to suffer from a disease that affects his peripheral vision, according to the outlet.

Wynn, who was forced to sell his shares of Wynn Resort because of sexual misconduct allegations, was personally responsible for damaging another Picasso painting several years ago.

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