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A Picasso fetches £13.5 million for obesity research

picasso240.jpgA Pablo Picasso painting donated to an Australian university has sold for £13.5 million at auction. The proceeds will benefit obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular research at the University of Sydney.

From our previous blog post announcing the sale:

The work depicts his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, whom he met in 1927 when she was 17 and he 45. The painting was snatched up by art collector Walter P. Chrysler Jr., son of the automobile tycoon, before being sold to the anonymous donor. Christie’s puts its value at £9 million to £12 million (US$14 million to $18 million).

It is not clear why the donor picked the University of Sydney as the beneficiary for the Picasso, or why diabetes, obesity and heart research was chosen to benefit. In a statement, the university’s vice chancellor Michael Spence said the proceeds “will create multiple endowed chairs across several disciplines within a new multidisciplinary University centre dedicated to research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease”.

Image courtesy of Christie’s

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    Oldak said:

    That seems rather sad. The University is losing more than it is gaining. The painting could have been well cared for into the future, and access to it could have been provided to students and researchers. Now, it might be lost to a private collection, inaccessible to researchers and with no standard of maintenance.

    I hope that the £13.5 million will be used well, but it will not last long. Funding may not be sloshing about, but it is available; a Picasso is irreplaceable.

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    Andrew Smith said:

    I do agree with Olak that obviously a Picasso is irreplaceable but I’d rather the students get a better chance in education with all that funding!

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