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A Clumsy, Costly Moment with a Picasso

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A Clumsy, Costly Moment with a Picasso

Arts & Life

A Clumsy, Costly Moment with a Picasso

A Clumsy, Costly Moment with a Picasso

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6358712/6358713" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Casino magnate Steve Wynn acquired Picasso's painting La Reve for $139 million. Then, while showing off the valuable work at his Las Vegas Hotel, he punched a hole in it with his elbow. Ouch.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

We're not sure if Steve Wynn has always been a klutz, but it was revealed this week that his imperfect coordination cost him $139 million. Mr. Wynn is a Las Vegas casino magnate and art collector. He owns La Reve, The Dream, Pablo Picasso's 1932 cubist portrait of his mistress.

Mr. Wynn had agreed to sell the painting to a buyer in Connecticut for a cool $139 million. But before he bid it adieu, he invited a group of friends over for a last look. Mr. Wynn is apparently a man prone to gesticulation. While chatting in front of the portrait, he accidentally whacked the masterpiece with his elbow, leaving a silver dollar-sized hole and scuttling the deal.

Writer Nora Ephron, who was present for the disaster, says Mr. Wynn exclaimed, oh beep, at least it was me. Meaning presumably not other some poor schmoe. Not to worry, though: an art restorer says he will be able to mend La Reve.

Coming up, when video games cross over into the real world. Stay tuned.

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