Monday 20 November 2017

Record price paid for Picasso ripped by owner's elbow

Nick Clark

Steve Wynn's failure to tell his art from his elbow seven years ago left a six-inch tear in a Picasso masterpiece he owned – and derailed its sale for $139m.

But the Las Vegas casino magnate finally closed the deal this week, selling the painting 'Le Reve' to the same buyer, and charging an extra $16m on top of the original asking price to take the total to $155m (€120m).

'Le Reve', a portrait of the Spanish artist's 22-year-old mistress Marie-Therese Walter, is said to have been painted in one afternoon in 1932, when Picasso was 50.

Mr Wynn sold it to Steven Cohen, a hedge fund manager, according to 'The New York Post'.

The $155m price is believed to make Le Reve the most expensive Picasso ever, and the second costliest painting of all time, before adjustments for inflation.

Mr Wynn, who has a disease that affects his peripheral vision, bought the work at auction for $48.4m in 1997.

He agreed to sell it to Mr Cohen in 2006 but the deal collapsed after it was damaged.

Mr Wynn was showing the painting to guests in his Las Vegas office when he accidentally tore a six-inch hole in it with his elbow.

However, after a $90,000 restoration the damage is now invisible to the naked eye. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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