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French court upholds sentence handed to Picasso’s former electrician

Plus: €300m collection goes missing in China | and Guggenheim reveals shortlist for 2020 Hugo Boss Prize

20 November 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Court upholds sentence handed to Picasso’s former electrician | A French court has upheld its decision to sentence Pablo Picasso’s former electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, and his wife, Danièle, to two years imprisonment for stealing 271 works by the Spanish artist. Le Guennec claimed that the hoard, which is estimated to be worth around €80 million, was a gift from Picasso’s widow Jacqueline, which she allegedly presented to the electrician after he concealed a large part of the artist’s collection in the wake of his death. However, the court determined that there were chronological inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the couple’s account. Pierre and Danièle Le Guennec, who were first brought under investigation in 2010 after seeking authentication for the works, were previously handed a two-year suspended prison sentence in 2015, before a retrial was accepted the following year.

Art collection worth €300m goes missing in China | A number of works by Markus Lüpertz, Anselm Kiefer and Renate Graf, thought to be worth €300 million, has gone missing in China, according to reports on several German media platforms. The 342 works, which make up part of the MAP collection, were loaned to Chinese businessman Ma Yue by Maria Chen-Tu, a German citizen of Taiwanese descent, who intended the works to be shown in Chinese museums. In comments reproduced by Deutschlandfunk, Chen-Tu stated that ‘I asked that all the works located in China should be returned to my depot in Hong Kong… [Ma Yue] didn’t comply with my request, I gave him several deadlines. He always ignored the deadlines.’ An investigation to recover the collection is currently underway.

Guggenheim announces shortlist for 2020 Hugo Boss Prize | The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York has announced the shortlist for its 2020 Hugo Boss Prize. The six artists nominated for the $100,000 prize are Nairy Baghramian, Kevin Beasley, Deana Lawson, Elias Sime, Cecilia Vicuña, and Adrián Villar Rojas. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in the autumn of 2020, with the chosen artist presenting their work in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim the following spring.

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