Sotheby's via EPA
Charity raffle tickets for the "L'Homme au Gibus" painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso cost $137. The painting has been valued at $1 million.
Christmas could come early for the lucky winner of a Wednesday charity raffle. They could scoop up a Picasso worth $1 million for just $137.
Entitled “L’Homme au Gibus,” or Man with Opera Hat, the artwork painted with gouache on paper was done by the famous Spanish artist in 1914. He clearly signed “Pablo Picasso” in the upper right hand corner of the 12 by nine inch work.
Maya Widmaier-Picasso, the artist's daughter with the French model Marie-Therese Walter, and his son Claude Ruiz-Picasso, whose mother is the painter and author Francoise Gilot, “both attest to the painting’s authenticity,” according to the 1picasso100euros.com website which is selling the tickets for 100 euros (approximately $137).
Picasso's grandson Olivier, said of the raffle that his grandfather, "would have been amused to be involved in such an operation."
Timothy Clary / AFP - Getty Images
Pablo Picasso's grandson Olivier, poses with the painting L'homme au Gibus or Man with Opera Hat.
“Everything innovative would interest him," he said. "I think that Pablo Picasso was a pioneer, pioneer in his personal life, in his sentimental life, in his creation."
Some 50,000 tickets were made available for the painting which was bought by an anonymous donor at a New York gallery. It given to a charity working to save the ancient city of Tyre in southern Lebanon.
The UNESCO-registered International Association to Save Tyre charity is hoping to raise about $5 million at the auction at Sotheby’s in Paris, according to spokeswoman Liliane Assi.
“We are very excited,” she said, "Who can get a Picasso usually? Or a piece of art? Not a lot of people at that value. So we have seen a lot of people buying three and four and five tickets."
She added that the money would go towards creating an institute for Phoenician studies and creating a handicraft village to provide employment for local women, young people and the disabled in Tyre.
“The person who donated the painting is very generous,” she said.
First published December 17 2013, 10:29 AM