Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/18/magnate_holes_picasso/

Casino tycoon sticks elbow through £74m Picasso

That's torn it

By Lester Haines

Posted in Media, 18th October 2006 11:37 GMT

A US casino mogul has blown a deal to offload a Picasso painting for £74m ($139m) after accidently sticking his elbow through it, the BBC reports.

Steve Wynn was showing off Le Reve (The Dream) to guests at his Las Vegas office last month when the expensive mishap occured. Wynn suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, "an eye disease affecting peripheral vision", the Beeb explains, and is also known for "gesturing with hands while speaking".

Eyewitness Nora Ephron later reported he "raised his hand then at that moment, his elbow crashed backward right through the canvas. There was a terrible noise".

She added: "Smack in the middle...was a black hole the size of a silver dollar. 'Look what I've done' he said. 'Thank goodness it was me'."

Wynn had agreed to sell the canvas - which he bought in 1997 for $48.4m - to collector Steven Cohen for the aforementioned truckload of cash. A spokeswoman for the gambling magnate says he'll now hold onto the painting and repair it. ®