Steven A. Cohen, whose SAC Capital just settled two insider-trading lawsuits with the government for $616 million, bought himself the belated gift after first agreeing to buy it for $139milllion in 2006 from Vegas mogul Steve Wynn. The price is estimated to be the highest ever paid for an artwork by a U.S. collector
But Wynn – former owner of the Bellagio and Mirage hotels in Vegas – put his elbow through the 1932 painting while he was showing it off to friends the day after the sale was agreed and caused a six-inch tear in it.
The hotelier agreed at the time to release Cohen – who is worth around $9.3billion – from the sale and repair it. Now he has sold it to Cohen for $16 million more than the pre-damaged price.
The painting – The Dream – has since been restored to its original state. The erotic content of the painting has been noted repeatedly, with critics pointing out that Picasso painted an erect penis, presumably symbolizing his own, in the upturned face of his model, who was his mistress at the time.
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