Picasso Insurance Lawsuit

Ever torn your Picasso? No?

According to a BBC news story, this is just what happened to Picasso owner, Steve Wynn, who actually damaged his painting with his elbow while showing it off to screenwriter Nora Ephron, television personality Barbara Walters and a couple of art dealers. (You can just imagine the involuntary gasps followed by a really uncomfortable silence.)

Mr. Wynn bought the painting in 1997 for a whopping $48.4 million. However, he had recently agreed to sell it to an art collector for an eye-popping $139 million. (That's a very nice return on his investment. In 10 years, he'd almost tripled his money.)

It's a good thing he had insurance.

Now how to do an estimate of the cost of the damage? Well, according to the papers submitted in his lawsuit against his insurer, Lloyd's of London, Mr. Wynn believes that he's lost more in value than he originally paid for it! He thinks the painting is still worth a paltry $85 million even with the damage.

Apparently, Lloyd's is in no hurry to pay up. According to his lawyer, Mr. Wynn has been waiting for the famour insurer to provide a copy of its appraisal report, including their new valuation of the painting after appropriate restoration work has been done.

Lloyd's has not commented. According to their spokesperson, Lloyd's does not comment on individual court cases.

You may not have a Picasso in your home, but if you have art or collectibles and they aren't insured, you could be at risk. Check out our section on insuring your special treasures.

Monique L. Attinger
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