The Sailor has definitely sailed off.
Picasso’s Le Marin (The Sailor, 1943) worth $70 million has been damaged prior to it its sale at the Christe auction house.
The painting was ‘accidently damaged’ ahead of its auction of Impressionists and Modern Art. The Christe has not revealed the details of the damage.
The painting was to be auctioned on the 15th of May, according to an international leading daily.
“After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin,” the auction house said, in a statement, adding, “We have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client. No further information is available at this time.”
The painting was owned by casino mogul Steve Wynn, who had damaged a Picasso painting before. Earlier in 2006, Wynn who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease, damaged Picasso’s ‘Le Reve’ (The Dream) by accidentally putting his elbow through the canvas. The painting was later restored and sold at 155 million dollars to Steve Cohen in 2013.
For ‘The Sailor’ the Christe auction house in a statement said: “Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting. After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin.”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 high-priced painting features a dark-haired man in a blue-and-white-striped shirt that Christie’s describes as “instantly reminiscent of the artist” and can, therefore, be interpreted as an “intriguing, multilayered and rare proxy self-portrait of Picasso himself.”
The work of art has been sold multiple times, including in a sale by Christie’s in 1997 that garnered $8.8 million, according to a leading news channel. The painting was later purchased by Wynn for an undisclosed amount.
Along with ‘Le Marin’, Picasso’s ‘Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil’ (Woman With a Cat Seated in an Armchair) 1964, estimated at 22 million dollars to 28 million dollars, has also been removed from the auction.
WILL ‘THE SAILOR’ EVER SAIL?
If the restoration process of the ‘Le Reve’ is to be believed in, the ‘Le Marin’ is soon to have own bon voyage too.