A 1931 plaster “Bust of a Woman” will go to billionaire Leon Black after lengthy litigation in New York was resolved.
The new ownership was announced Wednesday although the case was settled last month. Black was challenged by Qatar's royal family for the sculpture which depicts Picasso's lover Marie-Therese Walter.
Walter's daughter with Picasso, Maya Widmaier Picasso, owned the work and had reportedly made a $160 million deal with gallerist Larry Gagosian who planned to purchase it for Black.
Before the deal went through, Pelham Europe Ltd, an agent for Sheikh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani and the Qatar Museums Authority, claimed an earlier deal in 2014 at 38 million euros ($40.5 million) was already underway, struck with Widmaier Picasso and negotiated by her son.
After a legal wrangle, all the parties involved "reached a good faith global settlement resolving all matters and actions relating to Pablo Picasso’s Buste de Femme (Marie-Therese), Boisgeloup, 1931." Terms were not disclosed.
Gagosian Gallery spokesperson Jeffrey Schneider said in a statement: “We are pleased that the dispute between the Picassos and Pelham has been settled and Mr. Black will receive his sculpture. Today's settlement shows without question that the Gagosian Gallery purchased and sold this sculpture in good faith and without any knowledge of Picasso and Pelham's prior dealings, as we have said all along. Today is a complete vindication of the Gallery’s position.”