A 71-year-old retired electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, claimed he is a friend of the famous painter Pablo Picasso. The hundreds of unknown Picasso paintings that recently surfaced were said to have been given to him. Le Guennec says he worked installing alarm systems at several of Picasso’s residences, including a villa in the Riviera city of Cannes, during the three years up until the artist’s death in 1973.
The 271 pieces of art are valued by experts at more than 60 million euros (80 million dollars), France’s Liberation newspaper reported.
And the new-found drawings, paintings and studies are now at the heart of a legal tug-of-war between the electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, and the artist’s heirs who believe they must have been stolen and have filed for charges.
“No one can seriouly believe that the artist made these gifts, it’s completely crazy,” the Picasso family’s lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer told AFP on Monday.
“This electrician, who claims to have been a long-time friend, has never been heard of despite the fact we now know every detail about Picasso’s life.”