DiCaprio offers up artworks embroiled in money laundering investigation

Paintings by Picasso and Basquiat could soon be handed over to the FBI as part of an investigation into a US$4.5 billion (£3.5 billion) Malaysian embezzlement scheme.

Given to the actor Leonardo DiCaprio as gifts, the artworks were purchased by individuals caught up in the US Justice Department’s investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund. Continue reading

Wearable Picasso inspired by lovers’ tiff up for sale

A ring crafted by Picasso to smooth over a lover’s spat is expected to fetch up to £500,000 at auction.

Containing a miniature cubist portrait of photographer, painter and poet, Dora Maar, the ring was presented to her by Picasso after they quarreled. His lover and muse, Maar had persuaded Picasso to exchange one of his artworks for a ruby ring. After Picasso grew irritated with her over the deal Maar tossed the cabochon gem into the Seine. Continue reading

Pablo Picasso’s electrician admits he lied in court over theft charges

Pablo Picasso’s electrician has been accused of attempting to smear his former employer’s reputation in an appeal court in France.

Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle allege that the artist’s widow handed them a rubbish bag filled with works by Picasso following his death in an attempt to hide them from her stepson. Jacqueline Picasso is said to have asked Le Guennec to store between 15 and 17 rubbish bags containing 180 single pieces and a notebook of 91 drawings by Picasso including rare cubist collages and a work from his “blue period”. When she retrieved the bags from him some time later she gave Le Guennec one of them to keep in recognition of his devotion to the family. Le Guennec told the appeal court in Aix-en-Provence that Mrs Picasso had been having problems with her stepson Claude, and was perhaps attempting to prevent the works from being inventoried and subsequently inherited by him.  Continue reading