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Picasso goes cheap to raise money for Tyre

1 of 1 Cheap at the price: Picasso's grandson Olivier, with his grandfather's L'Homme au Gibus (Man with Opera Hat)
Cheap at the price: Picasso's grandson Olivier, with his grandfather's L'Homme au Gibus (Man with Opera Hat)

Tonight a particularly fortunate art lover will be the proud owner of an original Picasso painting, valued at €1m. But for the enviable acquisition, the buyer will pay a mere €100.

In something of a first, L'Homme au Gibus (Man with Opera Hat), a gouache on paper, is being sold by tombola at the Sotheby's Paris auction house, according to The Guardian.

Money raised from the sale of raffle tickets - 50,000 have been available online since April - will go towards helping the Phoenician city of Tyre, in southern Lebanon. 

A Unesco world heritage site, Tyre suffered serious damage during the Lebanese Civil War thirty years ago. The city has also been ravaged by growing urban development in recent decades.

Tired of  "boring" fundraising gala dinners, Olivier Picasso, the artist's grandson, and Péri Cochin, a French journalist of Iraqi and Lebanese descent, devised the novel sales ploy.52-year old Picasso works as a French TV producer.He is also an art consultant to the Picasso family foundation.

He is the son of Maya, the artist's daughter by his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. "This is a very important drawing because it first stands witness to the cubist work carried out by my grandfather," declared Picasso, The work is signed by the artist in the top right corner.

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