Sotheby's Paris to Raffle Off $1 Million Picasso Piece

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Oct, 27, 2013, 05:18 PM

Christie's recently unveiled an online-only auction that could finally make owning a Warhol a realistic dream for many collectors. It now seems Sotheby's has outdone their rival.

Sotheby's Paris will hold a raffle drawing Dec. 18 in Paris for a Pablo Picasso piece valued at $1 million—that can now be owned for just $135. The "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" raffle marks the first time a Picasso has been offered up as a raffle prize, according to NPR.

The raffle idea was the product of Peri Cochin, a journalist and television producer in Paris, and Oliver Picasso, the grandson of the famed artist. Together, the two decided on Man With Opera Hat, a 1914 piece that Picasso said was painted during "the peak of the cubism period of my grandfather. It's the second part of the cubism history, when Pablo was more studying how to symbolize things than just to draw them."

Talk about the chance of a lifetime.

Romanian Men Plead Guilty to Stealing Monet, Picasso and Matisse Paintings 

Three Romanian men have plead guilty to nabbing seven pieces of artwork last October from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, Holland.

The pieces, part of a collection of 150, were then allegedly brought to Romania, where the men planned to sell them on the black market. The event was the biggest art theft in over a decade in the Netherlands, and included works by Picasso, Matisse and Monet.

Radu Dogaru, Alexandru Bitu and Eugen Darie told a Bucharest court today that they stole the paintings, according to The Daily Mail. The men are facing charges for the theft and transportation of the peices into Romania. The artwork, worth tens of millions of dollars if it were sold at an auction, may have also been reduced to ashes, according to a report by The Guardian.

Officials from Romania's Natural History Museum analyzed a pile of ashes Dogaru's mother, Olga, claimed were the only remains of the lost artwork. Dogaru reportedly buried the artwork in an abandoned house and then in a cemetery in Caracliu while authorities were searching the village for the stolen works. She claimed that after her son was arrested in Janurary, she dug the artwork up and burned them in her stove. She has since denied she told investigators this story.

Her son has also denied that the paintings were burned, telling the court today that the remains of paint, canvas and nails identified by the museum could have been "from a fence with handmade nails or from 19th century icons that were in the family home," says the Daily Mail.

The artwork taken from the Kunsthal gallery included Picasso's 1971 Harlequin Head;  Matisse's 1919 Reading Girl in White and Yellow; Paul Gauguin's 1898 Girl in Front of Open Window; Monet's 1901 Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London; Meyer de Haan's Self-Portrait, around 1890; and Lucian Freud's 2002 work Woman With Eyes Closed.

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