Art And Culture
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Picasso Painting With 25,000 Owners on Show in Geneva

Pablo Picasso’s “Musketeer Bust” (1968)Pablo Picasso’s “Musketeer Bust” (1968)

A total of 25,000 internet users banded together to buy a Picasso painting, which is currently on display at Geneva’s modern art museum MAMCO.

Visitors to Swiss bargain site Qoqa usually end up buying a new drill, a set of luggage or a cheap trip to Marrakesh. But last December, the website proposed a 1968 painting by Pablo Picasso titled “Buste de Mousquetaire” (Musketeer Bust) which was offered up at the bargain price of two million Swiss francs ($2.0 million), Inquirer.net wrote.

Over the course of three days, 25,000 people purchased 40,000 shares, at a price of 50 Swiss francs ($50.1) each, to become the proud owners of the artwork.

Qoqa’s main objective with selling a work by arguably the most famous artist of the 20th century was obviously “to go viral” and get people talking about the website, company chief and founder Pascal Meyer told AFP.

But standing in the middle of the site’s open workspace, the 37-year-old stressed the move had also been inspired by a desire to democratize the art world, which he said was often viewed as “closed and obscure.”

 “When we launched this idea, people told us to forget it, that it was just impossible,” said Meyer.

“And when we started talking about Picasso, people said, ‘now that is doubly impossible.’ So the challenge was irresistible,” he enthused. “We said, ‘let’s do it. Let’s try to democratize this area, which seems so inaccessible to regular people.”

The Swiss museum offers a range of meetings, conferences and other activities around the painting, Picasso and also the conservation work museums usually do behind the scenes.

The “Buste de Mousquetaire” is set to remain in Geneva until October. It will be up to its owners to determine where it will go next.

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