Picasso auction canceled amid mystery

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 10, 2010 00:05
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

PARIS — A Paris auctioneer called off the scheduled sale Thursday of a trove of drawings Picasso gave his longtime chauffeur, after a separate cache of previously unknown Picassos turned up in an electrician's garage — a revelation that stunned the art world.

The sale at the Drouot auction house was to have included several dozen sketches and minor Picasso works given to driver Maurice Bresnu, a brawny man nicknamed "Teddy Bear" who was close to the artist and who sometimes inspired his work late in life.

Here's where things take a surprising twist: Since Bresnu and his wife have both died, one of the six heirs who stood to profit from the sale is a relative named Pierre Le Guennec — a former electrician for Picasso who recently announced that he had kept 271 of the master's creations in his garage for decades.

The electrician and his wife said the works were a gift from Picasso's second wife, Jacqueline Roque. But the announcement — by a man not known to be among the artist's friends — infuriated Picasso's heirs, who filed a lawsuit against the French electrician, claiming "illegal possession" of the works. Police have confiscated the art.

While the electrician's account stunned many people, the driver is already well-known to scholars of Picasso, who died in 1973.

Christie's already sold some of Bresnu's Picasso collection in the 1990s. Picasso dedicated drawings to the "Teddy Bear" — "Nounours" in French — sometimes even drawing a little bear on them, said auctioneer Pierre Blanchet. Picasso's daughter Maya authenticated works that were to be sold Thursday, he said.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 16, 2018
Woman killed in hit and run near Havat Gilad outpost

By JPOST.COM STAFF