Retired Electrician Announces He Owns 271 Picassos; Art Theft Agency Seizes the Lot

11/29/2010 4:12 PM |

Picassos
  • “Bonjour. I run a DIY gallery from my house that deals exclusively in early-20th century Picassos.”

Pierre Le Guennec, 71 (pictured), a retired electrician who lives humbly in Mouans-Sartoux, a small town above Cannes in the South of France, had his collection of 271 Picassos authenticated by the artist’s estate back in September, after which the estate sued and accused him of theft, and the French anti-art trafficking agency swooped in and seized the works in October. French paper Libération reports that Le Guennec worked for the modernist painter during the last three years of his life, installing an alarm system for him. The electrician has claimed at times that Picasso gave him the works, including Cubist collages, figure studies, small paintings and more (Libé has a nice slideshow), and on another occasion that his widow Jacqueline Picasso gifted them to him. The collection is valued at about $79 million, or approximately 929,411 and three quarters electronic home security systems, which should be more than enough to keep a snooping electrician from stealing an old man’s art. (ArtInfo, images courtesy AFP/Getty Images, Libération)