Pablo Picasso’s famous 1943 painting, “Le Marin” (“The Sailor”), was withdrawn from Christie’s Tuesday auction after it was “accidentally damaged” during the preparation process, officials said.
The auction house addressed the incident in a Sunday statement, announcing that the art, valued at $70 million, will be restored immediately. They did not, however, reveal the nature of the damage.
“Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting,” officials said in the statement. “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.”
According to Bloomberg, the piece was punctured by a paint roller. “A paint roller attached to an extension pole used by a contractor was leaning against a wall before gravity took over and it fell, puncturing the lower right of the canvas, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public,” the outlet reports.
Although the auction house did not reveal the client’s identity, Bloomberg reported in April that the art is owned by Steve Wynn, the billionaire casino mogul who stepped down in February amid sexual harassment allegations. He has denied the accusations, according to Bloomberg.
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This isn’t the first time Wynn has experienced a bit of bad luck with his multi-million dollar art collection.
In 2006, the business man accidentally put his elbow through Picasso’s 1932 work, “Le Rêve,” the New York Times reported then. Before the accident, Wynn had agreed to sell “Le Rêve” to billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen for $135 million.
After it was restored, Cohen purchased the painting in 2013 for $155 million, according to CBS News.
Along with “Le Marin,” Picasso’s 1964 painting “Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil” (“Woman With a Cat Seated in an Armchair”) was pulled from the sale.
However, Andy Warhol’s 1963 “Double Elvis” — also offered up by Wynn — will go to sale as planned on Thursday, according to CBS.
According to the Times, Christie’s chief executive, Guillaume Cerutti, addressed the incident simply at Sunday’s exhibition of Impressionist and Modern works: “These things happen.”