Pablo Picasso painting pulled from auction after being 'accidentally damaged'

Daniel Fowler
May 15, 2018

Pricey mistake: A Picasso worth an estimated $70 million had to be yanked from an auction at Christie's this week because it sustained damage as workers were preparing it. A self-portrait of Picasso from the auction took the current owner of the paintings of the American billionaire Steve Wynn, writes Bloomberg.

"After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie's May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin", it added.

The self-portrait, named Le Marin (The Sailor) was set to go to the highest bidder at NY auction house Christie's, along with another work by the artist-a 1964 portrait of a woman with a cat named Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil.

"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 statement continued.

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Bloomberg reports Wynn has since chose to pull another Picasso painting, 1964's "Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil" (woman with a cat), from the auction.

Last week a Picasso portrait of a naked, prepubescent girl kicked up a controversy after being sold for $115million (€97million) at a Christie's auction.

Neither would it be Wynn's first Picasso to come a cropper.

The New York-based auction house gave no further details about how the damage occurred or how badly the piece was affected. Agreeing to sell the painting for 139 million dollars and showing the painting to friends, he touched the painting with his elbow and made a hole the size of a finger. Wynn suffers from a disease that affects his peripheral vision and the hit reportedly caused a six-inch tear. In February Wynn was forced to resign from the company he founded, Wynn Resorts, amid sexual harassment allegations.

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