Mar 5, 2018

The French High Court annulled the conviction of Pablo Picasso’s electrician and his wife, who possessed 271 works allegedly stolen from the artist.

In 2016, a court ruled that Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec––Picasso’s former electrician and his wife––must return the works, and handed them a two-year suspended prison sentence. But on February 28th, the French High Court annulled the conviction after determining that “handling stolen goods only stands if the theft itself can be demonstrated.” Now, the couple will receive a new trial focusing on who committed the theft of the works worth an estimated €70 million, with Picasso’s chauffeur, who is also Pierre Le Guennec’s late cousin, a primary suspect. The Le Guennecs claimed that Picasso’s wife, Jacqueline, gave them the artworks in 1971 or 1972, later claiming that Jacqueline (who died in 1986) gifted them a sack of pieces for their help in hiding several bags of work from Picasso’s son. “The couple’s defence lawyer, Antoine Vey, intends to develop this version, which had been discarded by the judges for lacking credibility and consistency,” The Art Newspaper reported.