We’ll Never Be As Rich As This Woman Who Took 7 Years To Realize Her Picasso Painting Was Stolen

by 2 years ago

Look that picture directly in the eyes, bros, because that’s the face of someone who is living the dream of every person in the world. Namely, being rich. And not like regular rich. Like rich rich. Like “I had a priceless Picasso painting stolen from me and didn’t notice until I saw said painting up for auction while shopping for another priceless painting seven years later” rich.

Billionaire socialite Wilma “Billie” Tisch is suing a Florida gallery owner for trying to sell a $1 million Picasso that was stolen from her Manhattan home — sometime after December 2009, according to court papers. Tisch, 88, only recently discovered the 1928 portrait of the famed painter’s mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, was missing.

“What took everyone so long to figure out it was missing?” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney asked Tisch’s attorney at an emergency hearing Wednesday.

“They have a significant collection of art,” attorney Luke Nikas explained.

Forbes has pegged Tisch’s net worth at $1.41 billion. She last saw the 14-inch-by-7½-inch canvas in 2009 when she had it appraised by Christie’s while it was on display at her Fifth Avenue apartment, her suit says.

The widow of real estate magnate Laurence Tisch realized the work, “Tete,” was gone earlier this month. A Manhattan art dealer had emailed her son Thomas Tisch to tell him he was involved in a transaction of a piece that once belonged to his father. She also discovered it had been put up for auction by Sotheby’s in 2013 but never purchased. The auction catalog says that Laurence Tisch, who died in 2003, had sold the painting to a private collector. The catalog doesn’t list a transaction date.

Tisch has searched her personal files and “found no record reflecting any sale or gift of the work,” her Manhattan civil suit says. Her attorney, Luke Nikas, believes Tisch’s ex-maid– who now lives in Ecuador– stole the painting sometime before 2013. He’s considering reporting the crime to the FBI.

I’m definitely picking up what Justice Joan Kenney is putting down here. How do you not notice that you lost a Picasso? Maybe a da Vinci or a Michelangelo. But a Picasso? Get the fuck out of here. Museums put Picasso paintings behind a field of lasers because it’s so expensive that having it stolen would bankrupt the museum. Billie Tisch just stuck her Picasso in one of her various houses and forgot she had it until someone else told her that it had gotten stolen. It’s like how people only miss their ex when they find out their sleeping with someone hotter. Tisch is the kind of rich that when she goes to rich people parties they don’t even compare wealth because no one there is fully aware of how rich they actually are. “Yeah, I think I have a Picasso floating around in my house somewhere. I may have actually left it on my yacht the other day when I was going to Italy for my granddaughter’s sweet sixteen because I was going to give it to her but then I thought better of it and gave her a couple grand instead for the nose job she keeps telling me she needs.”

While the legal proceedings are ongoing, the judge has ordered the gallerist who came into possession of the painting to return it to storage until the hearing date on May 10th. The gallerist, a man named Markus Hendel, claims that he was sold the piece by a Miami company for $500,000 in June 2013. While I kind of hope this poor dude who probably just bought a painting with hopes of selling doesn’t get totally screwed by Tisch and her lawyers, I’m assuming that the alleged maid who stole it will more than likely be tracked down. Which, also, makes me question how many maids this woman has that one of them can sneak out of her house unnoticed while carrying a priceless piece of art under her arm.

via New York Post


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