The Curious Story of the Most Expensive Art Purchase in History that Never Happened - "Le Reve"

picasso - le reve - paintingSteven Cohen is a very successful hedge fund trader. His knowledge of the stock markets have grossed him billions of dollars, and made him one of the richest men in America.

Steven Cohen has a passion for collecting art. He has shelled out countless millions on priceless pieces to add to his collection.

He purchased a Pollack "drip" painting for $52 million dollars. He purchased "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" for $8 million dollars. He forked out $25 million for a Warhol and a Picasso.

However his biggest art purchase, a purchase that would have been by far the most money ever spent on a piece of art, never came to be.

Steve Wynn is another very rich and well-known guy. His is a casino mogul (owner of the Wynn casino in Vegas, amongst others.) Like Cohen, he also appreciates art and is an avid collector.

Wynn's most prized possession was Picasso's "Le Reve." The painting had previously hung inside of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and was now hanging in Wynn's office, waiting to be transported to Steven Cohen. The agreed upon price was $139 million dollars.

It should be noted that Steve Wynn suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye disease that damages peripheral vision. Wynn had invited some people into his office to show them the painting before it was sold to Steven Cohen.

He was about to point out something on the painting when:


His elbow went straight through the priceless piece of art, punching a hole right through the middle of the painting. There was a slight ripping sound as the priceless piece of art was forever altered and probably ruined.

"Oh shit," Mr. Wynn was rumored to have said, "Oh man. Well, I'm glad I did it and not you."

The most expensive painting purchase in history was called off. All because of a $130 million dollar elbow.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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