After hoping to benefit from an estimated fetching price of $100 million, billionaire Steve Wynn is apparently fuming after his Picasso masterpiece was badly damaged days ahead of a Christie’s auction.
Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait ‘Le Marin’ (The Sailor) which was damaged at Christie’s
The American businessman, 76, a former casino magnate who created some of Las Vegas’ renowned landmarks, including Bellagio and The Mirage, gave the auction house his 1943 Picasso self-portrait, ‘Le Marin’ (The Sailor).
Pablo Picasso’s painting was to be part of Christie’s May 15 Impressionist and Modern Art sale in New York – an event which saw sales totaling a mammoth $415,852,500.
But, a metal rod pierced through the priceless artwork and left a ‘significant hole’ because a metal extension pole for a wall paint roller allegedly fell onto the canvas, reports Page Six.
Private wealth lawyer Michael Kosnitzky, Mr Wynn’s adviser, said: ‘To say that Mr Wynn is upset is an extreme understatement.’
He said it was hoped that the damaged painting could be properly restored, and the matter be ‘amicably resolved with Christie’s’.
‘The other issue is the value they ascribe to the work – $70 million. We strongly disagree with it. Mr Wynn contends it would have sold for over $100 million and would have been the most significant work in the show.’
Mr Wynn’s new art dealership expects to be ‘fully compensated for the cost and time to repair the painting, and the diminution in its value’, Mr Kosnitsky added.
In a statement, Christie’s said: ‘Pablo Picasso’s Le Marin was accidentally damaged Friday during the final stages of preparation for Christie’s May 12-15 exhibition.
‘Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting.
Former casino mogul Steve Wynn was said to be fuming after a hole pierced his Picasso, just days before it was to be offered at Christie’s May 15 sale
Steve Wynn is a fan of Picasso. He is pictured here in the Picasso Restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas (stock photo)
Pablo Picasso’s painting was to part of Christie’s May 15 Impressionist and Modern Art sale – an event which saw sales totaling a mammoth $415,852,500 (above)
Le Reve, which Steve Wynn famously tarnished back in 2006, when he put his elbow through it. It had to be restored
‘After consultation with the consignor, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin.’
The auction house said it had 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.
‘No further information is available at this time.’
It is not the first time the billionaire has had a million-dollar art piece ruined.
Mr Wynn famously tarnished another Picasso painting titled Le Reve back in 2006, when he accidentally put his elbow through it, according to Bloomberg.
The business man suffers from a disease that affects his peripheral vision, which could have led to the blunder where he hit the painting with his right elbow while showing it to friends in his Las Vegas office.
The $139 million painting was left with a hole the size of a silver dollar.
La Reve was restored, bringing down its value to $85million.
Despite losing value, it was purchased by billionaire Steve Cohen in 2013 for a whopping $155 million.