Trick or Gift?

Doubts Abound Over Trove
of Unknown Picasso Works

It’s not uncommon for a member of a traditional family to find a forgotten work of art behind some cupboard or at the attic of a farm house. What’s very unusual is when the finder claims that the author himself, one of the greatest of the 20th century, gave him not one or two but a trove of 271 drawings and sketches.
That’s exactly what happened, according to retired Frenchman Pierre Le Guennec, who swears Spanish great Pablo Picasso (or his second wife Jaqueline Roque) gave him the collection in exchange for odd jobs he did at the artist’s Côte d’Azur home, 40 years ago.
Suspicious, Picasso’s son Claude, who if the tale would prove to be true, wouldn’t get a cent out of the $79 million the works are estimated to be worth, thinks he stole them. And asked the police to arrest him on the spot.
Among the pieces dating from 1900 to 1932, there’re portraits of Picasso’s first wife, Olga, Cubist collages worth $62 million, a watercolor from his “blue” period, studies of his hand on canvas, gouaches, lithographs and drawings.
They’ve been all said to be authentic, as art experts concluded that not even the greatest counterfeiter could have copied such a wealth of different styles, or faked the classification numbers on some of them.
But Claude and five other heirs filed suit, arguing that Picasso would never give away any of his work without dating it, signing it and dedicating it specifically to the recipient. The police seized the collection and it’s now being held in a vault in Nanterre, at France’s Central Office for the Fight against Traffic in Cultural Goods.

One thought on “Trick or Gift?

  1. nojailforyou says:

    Stolen or not, it’s great to have more of Picasso’s work available again.

    Like

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