Science

Billionaire's latest brush with trouble as £70m Picasso pulled from auction

Billionaire's latest brush with trouble as £70m Picasso pulled from auction

The Picasso self-portrait had been due to be included in Christie's May 15 Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in NY.

Owned by Windu a self-portrait of Picasso "the Sailor", on sale for $ 70 million at a Christie's auction in NY, was damaged.

Auction house Christie's withdrew Le Marin, a self-portrait painted in 1943, from its auction so that it could be restored.

The masterpiece, which belongs to former casino mogul Steve Wynn, was expected to fetch a whopping $70 million in Tuesday's auction.

This is the second time one of Wynn's Picasso paintings has been damaged. All links on the auction website that used to direct to information concerning the "Le Marin" now just navigate to a generic news page.

"Christie's has a very high standard of care for the objects entrusted to us and we have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client".




The painting was worth US$139 million before it was damaged, according to a lawsuit Mr Wynn filed against the insurer, Lloyd's of London. Wynn was originally due to sell some $150 million of art, including works by Picasso and Andy Warhol.

According to Bloomberg, Wynn suffers from a disease that affects his peripheral vision.

It declined to comment on the nature or extent of the damage. 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, Wynn put his elbow through "Le Rêve", another Picasso he owned, while showing it to friends.

Bloomberg named Wynn - who resigned in February as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts after allegations of sexual misconduct - as the unidentified owner of the Picasso.


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