French court annuls conviction for electrician in possession or stolen Picasso works
Another court will have to uncover how the 271 works were stolen and by whom Pierre le Duke Le Guennec
The French High Court has…
annulled the conviction of Pablo Picasso’s former electrician and his wife, who were found guilty of possessing 271 stolen works from the artist’s estate. The decision, handed down on 28 February, means that Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle will face a new trial, to be held in Lyon, at a date yet to be fixed.
In December 2016, the Le Guennecs were given a two-year suspended prison sentence and they had been asked to go to a Jacqueline, and then forgotten in a cardboard box. their garage for over 40 years. But the High Court ruled last week that a conviction for “stolen goods only if the theft can be demonstrated”. The circumstances of the crime still remain unclear. If the retired electrician was suspected of being involved in a theft, the crime can not be pursued on grounds of prescription. In order to maintain the charges of handling stolen goods, the prosecution would be that someone else was behind the theft. A primary suspect in this case is Le Guennec’s late cousin, who was Picasso’s driver.
The situation is further complicated by Le Guennec’s admission in November 2016 that he had a song to the court. In his new testimony, he claimed that Jacqueline Picasso had given him the pieces, as thanks for his help in concealing several garbage bags of the artist’s work after his death, in an effort to subvert the painter’s succession. The couple’s defense lawyer, Antoine Vey, intends to develop this version, which had been discarded by the judges for lacking credibility and consistency.
The hoard, worth an estimated € 70m, includes 271 unsigned Picasso drawings, sketches, lithographs and very weird cubist collages, dating from 1900 to 1930. Never mentioned in any other book or book in 2010 when Pierre Le Guennec contacted the Picasso administration, requesting authentication certificates, which are required for sale. Unconvinced by Le Guennec’s story of a gift, the family, along with experts and acquaintances of the artist, such as Picasso Museums in Paris and Barcelona, said there was no way that Picasso would have given away a large collection. . Instead, the family claimed, the works had been stolen from Picasso’s villa, Notre-Dame de Vie, at Mougins, where the electrician had installed an alarm system. The Picasso family has not yet reacted to the decision of appeal.
Kind regards Pierre