A new lawsuit points to a contractor as the one to blame for a hole ripped into a Picasso masterpiece knocking $20 million off of its value as it was being prepared for auction, according to a Bloomberg report.
Two years ago, a contractor hired by British auction house Christie’s, had reportedly left a paint roller extension rod leaning against a wall which then fell on the “Le Marin” canvas tearing a 4.5-inch hole in the lower left side of the painting.
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The accident “allegedly turned a $100 million masterpiece into $80 million of damaged goods,” Bloomberg reported.
Christie’s was preparing the painting, owned by billionaire Steve Wynn, for auction. The auction house paid $487,625 to have the painting restored, according to Bloomberg.
However, “the extent of the physical damage to Le Marin and the accompanying reputational damage lopped $20 million off the value of Le Marin,” the filing company Steadfast Insurance Co. claimed, according to the report.
Christie’s had returned the painting to Wynn’s art company, Sierra Fine Art LLC, and agreed to pay $18.74 million in damages, the insurance company said, according to Bloomberg.
The insurance company reportedly reimbursed the auction house and is now suing Christie’s to “recoup its costs from the contractor.”
Bloomberg said the contractor company did not immediately respond to a request for comment “after regular business hours.”