Steve Wynn to Keep Picasso He Damaged

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Associated Press
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 17 -- Casino mogul Steve Wynn will keep and restore a Pablo Picasso painting that he accidentally damaged shortly after he had agreed to sell it for a record $139 million, an aide said Tuesday.

Wynn was showing the painting, called "Le Reve" ("The Dream"), to guests in his office this month at Wynn Las Vegas when he struck the painting with his right elbow, spokeswoman Denise Randazzo said.

Wynn, who often gestures with his hands when he speaks, has retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that affects peripheral vision. He was traveling Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

The 1932 painting was left with a silver dollar-sized hole torn in the canvas, according to an account by screenwriter Nora Ephron, who saw the mishap.

Wynn reacted with an expletive, and said that he was glad he was responsible instead of someone else, Ephron recounted in a blog published Monday. He also promised to repair the painting.

Wynn bought the work for $48.4 million in 1997. He had agreed to sell the painting to art collector Steven Cohen for $139 million, which would have been $4 million higher than the $135 million that cosmetics magnate Ronald Lauder paid in July for Gustav Klimt's 1907 portrait "Adele Bloch-Bauer I."


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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