Steve Wynn does not have good luck with Picassos.
For the second time in twelve years, one of the artist’s works has suffered damage under the ownership of the billionaire collector. The auction house Christie’s withdrew “Le Marin,” one of Picasso’s self-portraits, from its Tuesday auction after the $70 million painting was damaged on Friday. The painting was one of three owned by Wynn scheduled to be auctioned by Christie’s this week. The total sale for the three was expected to be as high as $135 million.
In 2006, Wynn put his elbow through “Le Rêve,” another Picasso he owned, while showing it to friends. “Le Rêve,” a portrait of Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, was also scheduled to be sold within days of the damage. 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 restorer said the painting was only worth $85 million once it had been fixed, but that didn’t stop Steve Cohen from buying it for $155 million more than six years later, topping his original offer by $16 million.
Wynn suffers from a disease that affects his peripheral vision, which may have played a role in the incident with “Le Rêve.” In February Wynn was forced to resign from the company he founded, Wynn Resorts, amid sexual harassment allegations.
The nature and extent of the damage to “Le Marin” remains unclear.