Met Visitor Damages Picasso and Other Expensive Mishaps

The news broke this morning that on Friday, January 22, a visitor to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art fell into The Actor, a 1904-05 painting by Pablo Picasso, causing a six-inch tear in the lower right-hand corner.


According the Metropolitan Museum the incident occurred when "a visitor attending a class lost her balance. . . The painting was taken immediately to the Museum's paintings
conservation studio for assessment and treatment. Fortunately, the
damage did not occur in a focal point of the composition, and the
curatorial and conservation staffs fully expect that the repair--which
will take place in the coming weeks--will be unobtrusive."

Perhaps it's the spell Picasso casts in paint, but this is not the first time that a painting of his has suffered from an admirer.  Another recent and notable person who has accidentally put the hurt on a Picasso was Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, in 2006, on a work he owned.  Mr. Wynn (who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which affects peripheral vision) was showing off Le Reve (seen in the slideshow) to guests that included Barbara Walters, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, before the painting's pending sale to hedge fund mogul Steve Cohen for $139 million, which would have been the highest price ever paid for a work of art.  While talking about the picture Mr. Wynn gestured with his arm and in the process his elbow ended up puncturing the canvas.  Upon observing the damage, Wynn remarked to his guests "Well, I'm glad I did it and not you." Uh, yeah Steve.  The pending sale of the painting was cancelled.


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