Katya Kazakina reported late on Sunday that Picasso’s Le Marin, a $70m painting featured in Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening sale had been damaged and, thus, withdrawn from the sale this week:
Christie’s withdrew “Le Marin,” a self-portrait painted in 1943, from its auction this Tuesday for restoration, it said in a statement. It declined to comment on the nature or extent of the damage.
Update: Christie’s had released on their website a statement on the matter earlier on Sunday:
Pablo Picasso’s Le Marin (The Sailor)was accidentally damaged Friday during the final stages of preparation for Christie’s May 12-15 exhibition. 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 After consultation with the consignor today, the painting has been withdrawn from Christie’s May 15 sale to allow the restoration process to begin.
Christie’s has a very high standard of care for the objects entrusted to us and we have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client. No further information is available at this time.
The last time this happened with a Picasso owned by Wynn, admittedly a very different painting, Le Rêve, at a very different time, the restored work ended up selling a few years later for more than his original asking price.
Further Update: The New York Times’s Scott Reyburn is reporting that another Picasso work owned by Wynn has also been withdrawn:
Christie’s has not divulged the precise nature of the damage to “Le Marin,” but following the mishap, the auction house said in an email that Picasso’s 1964 painting “Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil” (“Woman With a Cat Seated in an Armchair”), estimated at $22 million to $28 million, has also been withdrawn from the sale. This second Picasso had also been identified as being offered by Mr. Wynn. Like “Le Marin,” it had been guaranteed to sell courtesy of a third party.
Pablo Picasso Painting, Valued at $70 Million, Is Damaged Before Sale (The New York Times)