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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Insuring your Picasso against the Risks of your Elbow

Lereve1932Lloyd's of London has a reputation for "insuring anything": Tina Turner's legs, Brooke Shield's legs, Liberace's fingers, Ben Turpin's crossed eyes. It doesn't seem odd, then, that Lloyd's would also insure a certain Picasso painting (Le Reve) owned by a certain casino magnet (Steve Wynn). Miriam has mentioned "the right to destroy" here before, and Jeremy has discussed the broken promises surrounding Wynn's $139 elbow. Well, it turns out that Wynn had insured the painting and he claims that the tear has decreased its value from $139 to $85 million. He's suing Lloyd's to recover on his policy. Courtesy of The Smoking Gun, here's the latest:

Months after he accidentally poked a hole in a Picasso painting, casino magnate Steve Wynn today sued Lloyd's of London for failing to pay off a $54 million insurance claim. Wynn, who purchased the painting "Le Reve" for $48.4 million in 1997, contends that the painting was worth $139 million when, on September 30, he "accidentally placed a tear" in it while showing the work . . . to friends visiting his Las Vegas office. According to Wynn's U.S. District Court complaint, a copy of which you'll find below, the businessman contends that, as a result of the tear, the painting's value has plummeted to $85 million. He has demanded that Llloyd's pay him the difference in the appreciated value of the painting and its post-damage worth. The day before he punctured the painting, Wynn had entered into an agreement with hedge fund titan Steven Cohen to sell "Le Reve" for $139 million. That deal died after the damage was disclosed to Cohen.

The complaint, adorned with Wynn's Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss.

[Meredith R. Miller]

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