80-year-old daughter of Pablo Picasso, double-sold the famous sculpture of the father – an American gallery owner and the Royal family of Qatar
One of the largest art dealers in the world, owner of five art galleries Larry Gagosian, occupying a leading place in the list of “the 100 most influential figures in the art world”, had to plead with the members of the ruling Royal family of Qatar due to a dispute about the right of owning a bronze sculpture by Pablo Picasso titled “woman’s bust” (Marie-thérèse), established in 1931.
Both sides claim to have bought this work from the same seller – 80-year-old owner of the sculpture Maya Weidemeyer-Picasso, daughter of artist and his Muse Marie-thérèse Walter, according to The New York Times.
As it turned out in court, she has made a deal with the agent of Qatar Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz al Thani (husband of Sheikha al-Mayassa, head of the office of museums Qatar), signed in November 2014 a contract for 42 million dollars with the company Pelham Holdings. And six months later, in may of 2015, she signed a similar but more favorable, the contract with Larry Gagosian, who brokered a daughter Maia – Diana Weidemeyer-Picasso – pay for the sculpture already 105,8 million dollars, and then sold it to an unnamed American collector.
Representatives of the Maya Widmaier-Picasso refused to comment on why she twice sold this work of art. While the Royal family of Qatar received a letter in which it was reported that signed with Pelham Holdings agreement will be deemed null and void, as 80-year-old woman could not be a full-fledged party in negotiations “for medical reasons” – her mental health is questionable.
According to Larry Gagosian, he has already paid the family of Weidemeyer-Picasso $ 80 million (75% of the total transaction amount). He argues that the first agreement shall be of no effect, stressing that not suing Qatari family, whose members are among the most generous buyers in the global art market and with their agent. He questioned what Pelham Holdings failed to obtain the consent of Maya Widmaier-Picasso at “unreasonably low price” (42 million dollars).
According to court documents, the vendor’s lawyer in April 2015, said the refusal from the sale of sculpture to the Royal family of Qatar.
According to the newspaper, this case vividly illustrates the situation in many family descendants and relatives of Picasso, who had many wives, muses, children and grandchildren, which over the past decade with his death repeatedly argued about ownership of a valuable heritage of the Patriarch, selling off his work. Only in 2015 at auctions and in private transactions were sold works by Picasso worth more than 652 million dollars. And in may 2015 a painting by Pablo Picasso “the women of Algiers (Version O)” (Les femmes d’alger (Version “O”), estimated by experts in $ 140 million, was sold at auction in new York for a record 179,365 million dollars.