'Accidentally damaged' €60million Picasso painting withdrawn from auction today

The 1943 masterpiece called "Le Marin" or "The Sailor" had been a highlight of Christie's marquee impressionist and modern evening art sale.

A damaged Picasso painting worth $70 million was yanked from an auction at Christie's this week, the New York Daily News noted. In fact, a $139 million deal had already been signed with Steve Cohen, the hedge-fund manager and art collector, at the time the damage occurred. A self-portrait of Picasso from the auction took the current owner of the paintings of the American billionaire Steve Wynn, writes Bloomberg. All links on the auction website that used to direct to information concerning the "Le Marin" now just navigate to a generic news page.

"Two outside conservators have now been consulted and have made recommendations for the successful restoration of the painting", Christie's said Sunday.

According to Christie's auction house catalogue, "As it would have been clearly understood at that time - the flowers were a come-on, she was actually a prostitute".

The auction house said that Picasso's 1964 portrait, Femme au chat...

Wynn, who suffers from a disease that affects his peripheral vision, accidentally struck his Picasso "Le Reve" with his right elbow in 2006 while showing it to friends in his Las Vegas office, leaving a hole the size of a silver dollar. Its estimated worth is between $25 million and $35 million.

Wynn grew up in Utica and is a 1959 graduate of The Manlius School, which later merged with Manlius Pebble Hill School.

Bloomberg named Wynn - who resigned in February as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts after allegations of sexual misconduct - as the unidentified owner of the Picasso. He has denied wrongdoing.

Vanessa Coleman

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