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Legal Dispute over Picasso Sculpture Settled, with Leon Black Named as the Work’s Owner

Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman, 1931.©2016 ESTATE OF PABLO PICASSO/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman, 1931.

©2016 ESTATE OF PABLO PICASSO/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

The New York Times reported today that Leon Black, the billionaire art collector, will now own the Pablo Picasso sculpture Bust of a Woman (1931) that has been at the center of a months-long legal battle. The Qatari royal family, which had also claimed ownership, will receive financial compensation as a result of a settlement among all the involved parties. The amount of that compensation was not disclosed.

The dispute began in 2015, when dealer Larry Gagosian bought the work from Picasso’s 80-year-old daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, for $106 million, and subsequently sold it to Black. The problem: Widmaier-Picasso had also sold the sculpture to an agent of the Qatari royal family a year before, for the equivalent of $42 million. A legal tussle ensued, with both parties claiming ownership over the work. That battle is now over.

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