May 19, 2019

Picasso gift to bring $18m windfall to university

Jeune fille endormie - a generous gift getting put to good use.

The anonymous donation of a Picasso painting is set to reap a $18 million windfall for the University of Sydney.

The painting – Jeune fille endormie (sleeping girl) – is of Picasso’s famous french muse Marie-Therese Walter.

The university of Sydney vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, said the wealthy American donor had flown to Australia last year to hand over the painting.

It was donated with three conditions; that it was sold by the university, that the money would go to scientific research at the university, and that the donor remain strictly anonymous.

Dr Spence declined to say how the donor had become aware of the university’s work in case it jeopardised their anonymity. The donor also gave jewellery, cash and bonds worth a significant amount, Spence said.

The painting is to be sold at in June at Christie’s auction house in London. Christie’s is expecting worldwide interest for the painting which has not been exhibited in public since 1941.

The university is currently develping a large facility for research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is expectd that a large portion of the proceeds from the Picasso sale will go towards this project which is expected to be opened in 2015.