When bought $138 raffle ticket, Jeffrey Gonano, a 25-year-old project manager had no idea that he will win Pablo Picasso’s painting, “Man With Opera Hat,” which has an estimated value of $1 million. He was one of 50,000 people who bought €100 ($138) raffle tickets at online auction by Sotheby’s to benefit a Lebanese charity. The 1914 work, “Man in the Opera Hat,” dates from Spanish master Pablo Picasso‘s cubist period. Picasso died in 1973.
Gonano said he wants to keep the artwork, which features vivid shapes in opaque gouache paint.
“Maybe I’ll lend it to a museum and let them put it on display rather than putting it in a vault, so other people can enjoy it,” he told the newspaper. “It all depends. I don’t know what the taxes are or anything.”
The auction raised about $3.5 million to benefit the International Association to Save Tyre, an organization that raises money for the war-damaged southern Lebanese city and Unesco World Heritage site.
The artist’s grandson, Mr Olivier Picasso, who helped drum up interest in the charity raffle, described the work as a “masterpiece” of museum standard in perfect condition.
“This was very important to me because this city is one of the places where the idea of Western civilization originated,” Olivier said of his charity scheme. “I think my grandfather would have been seduced by the idea of helping such a place.”