Picasso “Le Marin (The Sailor)” (1943)
In May 2018, this painting was removed from a scheduled auction at Christie’s after it was “accidentally damaged” at the presale exhibition.
“After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin,” the auction house said. “We have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client. No further information is available at this time.”
While both the nature of the damage and the identity of the client were not revealed, sources identify the unnamed client as casino mogul Steve Wynn.
This would not be Wynn’s first experience with a damaged Picasso: In 2006, Wynn, who suffers from a degenerative eye disease, accidentally put his elbow through the canvas of Picasso’s “La Reve” (1932), which he owned at the time. That canvas was eventually restored and sold.
Sources say the canvas was accidentally punctured during preparations by a paint roller attached to an extension pole, which fell over and struck the painting.