A Clumsy, Costly Moment with a Picasso

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.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

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.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: