Steve Wynn accidentally put his elbow through a painting (Picasso’s “Le RÃªve”) he had just sold for $139 million dollars.
The guests came at five-thirty, and Wynn ushered them in. On the wall to his left and right were several paintings, including a Matisse, a Renoir, and â€œLe RÃªve.â€ The other three walls were glass, looking out onto an enclosed garden. He began to tell the story of the Picassoâ€™s provenance. As he talked, he had his back to the picture. He was wearing jeans and a golf shirt. Wynn suffers from an eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa, which affects his peripheral vision and therefore, occasionally, his interaction with proximate objects, and, without realizing it, he backed up a step or two as he talked. â€œSo then I made a gesture with my right hand,â€ Wynn said, â€œand my right elbow hit the picture. It punctured the picture.â€ There was a distinct ripping sound. Wynn turned around and saw, on Marie-ThÃ©rÃ¨se Walterâ€™s left forearm, in the lower-right quadrant of the painting, â€œa slight puncture, a two-inch tear. We all just stopped. I said, â€˜I canâ€™t believe I just did that. Oh, shit. Oh, man.â€™ â€
Wynn turned around again. He put his pinkie in the hole and observed that a flap of canvas had been pushed back. He told his guests, â€œWell, Iâ€™m glad I did it and not you.â€