Monday, November 29, 2010

Couple produces hidden stash: staggering Picasso trove turns up in France

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least $79.35 million, according to an administrator of the artist's estate.

This photo (right) provided by the Succession Picasso shows a drawing "Nu Assis" (Sitting nude) by Picasso. (Succession Picasso via AP)

Image: Picasso painting

The couple for years squirreled away the staggering trove — which is believed to be authentic, but whose origin is unclear — in their garage on the French Riviera, said Picasso Administration lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer.

The cache, dating from the artist's most creative period from 1900 to 1932, includes lithographs, portraits, watercolors, and sketches — plus nine Cubist collages said to be worth €40 million alone, according to French daily Liberation, which first reported Monday on the discovery.

Pierre Le Guennec, a 71-year-old former electrician who once worked for Picasso, and his wife showed many of the works to Picasso's son Claude and other estate administrators in Paris in September seeking to have the works certified as authentic, the lawyer said.

Pictured left is Picasso's "Still life glass sand."

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