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

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

His plan to sell a Picasso valued at US$70 million (S$94 million) at auction this week was derailed after the painting was "accidentally damaged" at a pre-sale exhibition last week.

The auction house didn't specify the extent or cause of the damage to Le Marin (The Sailor).

Casino mogul Steve Wynn owns the painting, and the incident marks the second Picasso piece he has owned to sustain damages in recent years.

In 2006, Wynn, who has a degenerative eye disease, accidentally put his elbow through the canvas of Picasso's 1932 work "Le Rêve" after agreeing to sell the masterpiece to billionaire hedge fund collector Steven Cohen for $135 million. Details, including how bad the damage is or how it happened, have not been disclosed.

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"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".

In NY, the auction took a self-portrait of Pablo Picasso "the Sailor" for the goal of restoration of the canvas.

Billionaire Steve Wynn has not perfected the art of looking after his prized artworks - either on his own or by others. A restorer said the repaired painting was worth $85 million, according to the lawsuit. He declined to make any further comment.

Wynn resigned as chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts February and stepped down as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee amid allegations of sexual misconduct. 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.