Picasso Painting Gets Damaged Before Getting Sold

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. entrust / ɪnˈtrʌst / (v) – to give someone the responsibility to take care of something

    I entrusted my pet dog to my brother while I was away.

  2. pull out / pʊl ɑʊt / (phrasal) – to withdraw something from a place or event

    The artist decided to pull out her artworks from the exhibit after some misunderstandings with the organizers.

  3. fetch / fetʃ / (v) – to be sellable at a certain price

    Some luxury cars can fetch as much as $400,000 in the market.

  4. infuriate / ɪnˈfjʊər·iˌeɪt / (v) – to make someone very angry

    My friends’ bad prank infuriated me.

  5. beyond repair / biˈɑnd rɪˈpeər / (idiom) – to be so damaged or destroyed that it cannot be fixed

    My bike is beyond repair after the accident.


Read the text below.

A Pablo Picasso painting called “Le Marin” (“The Sailor”) was accidentally damaged prior to its auction this year.

The “Le Marin” is owned by billionaire businessman and art collector Steve Wynn. Wynn entrusted the painting to the auction house Christie’s, where it was supposed to be sold last May. However, the painting was damaged while under the auction house’s care.

According to an anonymous source, the damage was caused by a paint roller that fell on the painting. The accident left a hole in the artwork’s lower right side. Consequently, the painting was pulled out from its scheduled auction.

The 1943 painting is one of Picasso’s self-portraits. Like the artist’s other works that usually fetch millions of dollars in the market, “Le Marin” was supposed to be sold for at least $70 million at the auction.

According to Wynn’s consultant, what happened had infuriated the businessman. Wynn also reportedly believed that the incident left the artwork so severely damaged that it was beyond repair.

In response, Christie’s made a statement assuring that it is already taking all the necessary steps to restore the painting.

The piece has already been handed over to art restoration experts who are not part of the auction house. Contrary to what Wynn feared, “Le Marin” is said to still be repairable. However, some experts say that how the painting would sell later on would depend on several factors, such as the location of the damage, the extent of its damage, and the quality of the painting’s restoration.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Given the damage it incurred, do you think the painting will still fetch the same price? Why or why not?
• If something valuable (e.g. artwork, vintage object, electronics) has already been damaged, would you still buy it? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think important artworks should be sold to private individuals, or should they be accessible to the public? Explain.
• In your opinion, what makes an artwork valuable? Discuss.

Category : Human Interest