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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picasso problemo!

Just had to share this one with you -

A French couple have come forward with 271 works by Pablo Picasso.

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least 60 million euro ($A82.79 million), an administrator of the artist's estate said on Monday.  The electrician, who once worked for Picasso, and his wife for years squirreled away the staggering trove - which is believed to be authentic - inside a trunk in the garage of their home on the French Riviera.

The cache, dating from the artist's most creative period from 1900 to 1932, includes lithographs, portraits, watercolours, and sketches - plus nine Cubist collages said to be worth 40 million ($A55.2 million) alone, according to French daily Liberation, which first reported the discovery on Monday.

Pierre Le Guennec, a 71-year-old former electrician, and his wife showed many of the works to Picasso's son Claude and other estate administrators in Paris in September, seeking to have the works authenticated, Picasso Administration lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer.  Shortly after that meeting, Neuer filed suit on behalf of Picasso's heirs for alleged illegal receipt of the works. Police investigators are looking into how Le Guennec and his wife, Danielle, came by the pictures.  "This was a gift," Danielle Le Guennec told The Associated Press by phone from their home in the town of Mouans-Sartoux, near the tourist Riviera hotspot of Antibes. "We aren't thieves. We didn't do anything wrong."  The works, which were kept in a trunk, didn't appear to be much to her untrained eye, she said: "But even if this was a little jot of the pencil, it did come from the master."

Claude Picasso, quoted in Liberation, noted that his father was known for his generosity - but that he always dedicated, dated and signed his gifts, as he knew that some recipients might try to sell the works one day.  "To give away such a large quantity, that's unheard-of. It doesn't hold water," Claude Picasso was quoted in Liberation as saying. "This was part of his life."

Danielle Le Guennec said the couple didn't intend to sell the art. She also said the couple decided to come forward with the works this year because they were getting on in years, and "didn't want to leave any headaches to our children" with their own estate.

Aren’t these comments at odds with one another? You decide …

Also, I love the idea of these two "squirreling" away the artworks for years.  They knew they were on a good wicket ... !

Credits to NineMSN journalist Jamey Keaten for the story.  View the full story here.

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