Published On: Thu, Jun 16th, 2016

Leon Black Wins Picasso’s ‘Bust of a Woman’ as Legal Drama Ends

The battle involved the Qatar royal family; Gagosian Gallery claimed it bought the Picasso sculpture for $106 million

Picasso’s 1931 sculpture Bust of a Woman


Billionaire Leon Black won the international legal case over Picasso’s 1931 plaster sculpture, “Bust of a Woman” (the artist former lover Marie-Thérèse).”

Leon Black of Apollo Global Management, is MoMA’s co-chairman and he owns collection of artworks such as Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

An international custody battle broke out in January after Ms. Widmaier Picasso sold the “Bust” to Mr. Black through a New York gallery, Gagosian, for around $106 million, a record-high sum for any Picasso sculpture. Pelham and Seydoux contested the deal, saying they had already agreed to pay around $42 million for the same piece on behalf of the Qataris two years earlier.

The artwork was for years possession of Maya Widmaier Picasso, a daughter the artist had with Marie-Thérèse. Last year she sold the sculpture to Mr. Black through a New York gallery, Gagosian, for around $106 million.


Leon black Apollo



But art agancies Pelham and Seydoux, agent for Sheikh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani and the Qatar Museums Authority,  claimed they had already agreed to pay about $40 million in a transaction negotiated by her son, two years earlier.

The two sides filed competing lawsuits in January in Manhattan federal court.

“We are pleased that the dispute between the Picassos and Pelham has been settled and Mr. Black will receive his sculpture, ” the gallery said in a statement on Wednesday. “Today’s settlement shows without question that the Gagosian Gallery purchased and sold this sculpture in good faith and without any knowledge of Picasso and Pelham’s prior dealings, as we have said all along.



Picasso’s 1931 sculpture Bust of a Woman

A sculpture of Pablo Picasso’s mistress and model, Marie-Therese Walter, on view in a current exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, has leaped into the limelight with a court battle over More…





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