The widow of Picasso may have tried to hide some of the artist’s work from the heirs automatic translate
EX-AN-PROVENCE. A former electrician who kept nearly 300 works of Pablo Picasso in his garage for nearly 40 years, told the French appeals court that the artist’s widow might have wanted to hide these works from her family.
«Ms. Jacqueline Picasso had problems with her stepson Claude Ruiz-Picasso,» said Pierre Le Guennec, presenting a new version of the events in court.
Le Gunnek, convicted last year with his wife for theft, said that it was the widow of Picasso who asked him to hide about 17 bags of works of art after the death of Picasso in April 1973. The 77-year-old electrician added that some time later Jacqueline Picasso took the bags, but one of them gave him in gratitude for the help. In the present bag there were 180 works and a notebook containing 91 drawings by Picasso. Uninterested in the resale of these values, Le Gunnek left them in his garage, where they were found in 2009.
Le Gunnek said that «maybe» the widow tried to hide these works from the inventory, and admitted that he did not tell the truth earlier from «the fear of being accused together of the one who stole the bags.» Pierre Le Gunnek worked for a long time in the house of Picasso, the artist treated him well and even presented some of his drawings.
The lawyer of the spouses Le Guneck Eric Dupont-Moretti said that he only learned about the new version of events just a few days ago. Lawyer Claude Ruiz-Picasso Jean-Jacques Neuer condemned the testimony of a former electrician, which he called «stunning lies.» The prosecutor Christopher Raffen agreed with him: «I do not believe in the version that the drawings were a gift, I think it was the theft committed at the time when Jacqueline Picasso was completely focused on caring for her aging husband.»
Spouses were sentenced to five years and a fine of 375,000 euros or half the cost of Picasso’s work, the theft of which they are accused. The drawings of the artist, seized from them, have not yet been evaluated. The collection consists of sketches depicting women and horses, nine rare cubism-style collages created at a time when Picasso worked in conjunction with the French artist Georges Braque, several works of the «blue period», as well as portraits of Fernanda, the mistress of Picasso and drawings depicting his first wife Olga. All the works were created in the period from 1900 to 1932.
The case against the couple Le Guennek was initiated in 2010, when they tried to confirm the authenticity of the drawings. The fact is that none of them was signed, which is not typical of Picasso, who left an autograph on each of his work. The second lawyer Le Gunnekov, Charles Etienne Guden, said, however, that about ten works can be considered valuable, and the rest of the collection is «very mediocre,» and Picasso was never going to sell them or make them public.
One of the few who spoke in support of Le Hunnek’s spouses was Catherine Hutin-Blay, the granddaughter of the artist, who told that there was always a special relationship between the artist and his worker. Prosecutor Laurent Robet believes that Pierre Le Gunnek became a pawn in the game of unscrupulous art dealers who tried to get the works originally stolen by the former driver of Picasso.
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