EXCLUSIVE: Abramovich Said to Be Owner of World's Most Expensive Painting
When we first reported back in May that Pablo Picasso's 1932 painting Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust (above) had sold for a record-breaking $106.5 million at Christie's we heard whispers that the buyer was a certain Russian oligarch known for his eye-popping acquisitions: Roman Abramovich. Now that the world's most expensive painting has been lent to the UK's Tate Modern museum by the unnamed "private collector" who bought it (as my colleague Deidre Woollard reported), a strong indication that the owner is based in London where Abramovich spends most of his time, we're hearing them louder. [cont'd]
Gallery: Record-Breaking Art
We believe that the free-spending billionaire, who owns London's Chelsea football club and the world's largest yacht at $785 million has let the Tate borrow it while his new $230 million mega-mansion in Knightsbridge is being completed, where the Picasso will likely have pride of place. As we reported the other day, Abramovich's art buying spree continues unabated; we also believe he was the mystery buyer of a $37 million Francis Bacon triptych at Sothebys the other day. Of course the Picasso could also end up at the $400 million private museum the oligarch is planning in St. Petersburg.