Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Friday, March 02, 2007

I Don't Own This Painting. I Didn't Paint This Painting. I Am Just Sleeping With Another Picasso.

Gilles Bensimon
I Don't Own This Painting. I Didn't Paint This Painting. I Am Just Sleeping With Another Picasso.

By PIA CATTON
Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 2, 2007



The two stolen Picassos are practically stealing the Paris fashion week shows. The international creative director of Elle magazine, Gilles Bensimon, was sleeping at the home of his girlfriend, Diana Widmaier-Picasso, who is the artist's granddaughter, when the theft occurred Monday night.
Mr. Bensimon is in town to see the ready-to-wear collections and was staying at the Picasso residence in the 7th arrondissement, according to Women's Wear Daily.
As he entered the Celine show, Mr. Bensimon had to field more than one question about the theft. "Is it true?" a breathless show-goer asked him as he was about to take his front-row seat.
A tan, smiling Frenchman with white curly locks, Mr. Bensimon wasn't shy about answering more questions. "I don't own this painting. I didn't paint this painting. I am just sleeping with another Picasso," he told The New York Sun.
He did not hear anything during the break-in. "Diana woke me up," he said. Mr. Bensimon confirmed Ms. Widmaier-Picasso's lack of physical harm from the incident to WWD, but said he found the episode "frightening." "I'm just glad I was there," he told WWD while attending the Givenchy show.
Mr. Bensimon was previously married to Kelly Bensimon, a former model and a sometime editor at Elle Accessories. Their marriage ended in January 2006, after Mr. Bensimon was reportedly seen with Ms. Widmaier-Picasso, and Ms. Bensimon with various acquaintances. A previous marriage, to the model Elle Macpherson, ended in divorce in 1989.
Ms. Widmaier-Picasso is an art historian and the daughter of Maya Widmaier- Picasso — the daughter of Picasso and his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter — and Pierre Widmaier. The elder Ms. Widmaier-Picasso was also asleep in the apartment during the theft.
WWD also reported that the couple has relocated to a hotel.
The stolen paintings — "Maya With Doll" and "Portrait of the Woman Jacqueline" — were worth an estimated $66 million.

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