What to Know
A Pablo Picasso painting expected to fetch $70 million at auction was “accidentally” damaged on Friday, Christie's auction house says
The painting, titled "Le Marin" or "The Sailor," was damaged "during the final states of preparation" for a May 12-15 exhibition
The painting was expected to be sold during the exhibition, but has now been withdrawn until it has been fixed
Talk about a major “oops!”
A Pablo Picasso painting expected to fetch $70 million at auction was “accidentally” damaged on Friday, according to a statement from auction house Christie’s.
The painting, titled "Le Marin" or "The Sailor," was damaged "during the final states of preparation" for the auction house’s May 12-15 exhibition. The painting was set to be sold during that time.
"Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting," Christie's said in the statement. "After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin."
The unnamed client of Christie’s who currently owns “Le Marlin” was identified as casino mogul Steve Wynn, the New York Times reports.
This isn't Wynn's first run-in with damage Picasso paintings. In 2006, Wynn accidentally poked his elbow through Pablo Picasso's 1932 painting "Le Rêve," while showing it to a few of his guests, according to a previous NPR report. The painting was refurbished, and Wynn later sold it for $155 million at auction.
Christie's said that "immediate measures to remedy the matter” were taken, though the action being taken was not divulged.