The sale of Pablo Picasso
’s Buste de mousquetaire
(1968) shows you don’t need to be a millionaire to own a work by one of history’s most famous artists—but you do have to be willing to share. Qoqa, a Swiss bargain commerce site, put Buste de mousquetaire
up for sale last December, offering 40,000 shares in the painting at a cost of $51 each. Over the course of just three days, 25,000 people purchased a piece of the artwork through the platform, usually known for selling goods ranging from vacations to drills. Selling the painting by a famous artist was an attempt to make Qoqa “go viral,” Pascal Meyer, company chief and founder, told the South China Morning Post
. And it appears Meyer succeed.
Prior to the sale, the bargain website brought in experts to ensure the work’s authenticity and determine its value, ultimately setting the price at 2 million Swiss francs. Meyer refused to tell the SCMP how much Qoqa originally paid for the painting, which fits in with Picasso’s later work and depicts a musketeer through exaggerated white and grey marks. Each buyer has been issued a card that entitles them to see the painting, on view in Geneva until October. Where the artwork goes next will be decided by the thousands of proud new owners.