Damaged portrait of Picasso worth $70 million

Damaged portrait of Picasso worth $70 million

A PICASSO self-portrait worth an estimated €60million has been withdrawn from an auction in the United States today after it was "accidentally damaged".

Christie's said the damage happened on Friday "during the final stages of preparation".

The painting belongs to casino magnate Steve Wynn, who has recently faced allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1970s.

Last Tuesday, Christie's sold Pablo Picasso's 1905 "Fillette a la corbeille fleurie" ("Young Girl With a Flower Basket") for $115 million, making it the Spanish master's second most expensive work ever sold at auction.

Two outside conservators have now been brought in to make recommendations for the successful restoration of the "Le Marin".

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Wynn has suffered problems over a damaged Picasso masterpiece in the past.

In 2006, Wynn, who has the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, accidentally put his elbow through the canvas of Picasso's celebrated 1932 masterwork Le Reve, which he had agreed to sell for $US135 million.

"Christie's has a very high standard of care for the objects entrusted to us and we have taken immediate measures to remedy the matter in partnership with our client", the statement continued.

Christie's added, "No further information is available at this time". On Monday, Christie's said it pulled another Picasso from the auction - a 1964 portrait of a woman with a cat, "Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil", estimated at $25 million to $35 million. After restoration, the painting was purchased in 2013 by Cohen for $155 million. CNN reports he received $2.1 billion when he sold his stake in Wynn Resorts in March. No spokesman could immediately be reached for a comment from Wynn.

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