Picasso vendor after a fortune
son, John Jr, who was his apprentice at the time.
“It was almost three years of laying pipe though some of the most difficult terrain I’ve ever come across, through creek crossings, hills — even through a banana plantation,” John Jr said.
“Even though it was one of the most challenging jobs dad and I ever did, it was also one of the most enjoyable.”
Seqwater manager operations southern region Joe Meissner said the pipeline was an important part of the city’s modern history. IT’S been revealed a Picasso sketch, missing for a decade after a court case involving Mayor Tom Tate, has a $57 million price tag on it.
The sketch, titled “Femme”, featured with a silk-screen print from Warhol’s renowned Marilyn series in several court cases involving Cr Tate and Francis Kovacevic, who has also been known as Frank Kendt.
Femme belonged to retired flamenco guitarist Fernando da Costa, whose grandfather received it as a gift from the renowned artist. He spent years and thousands in the courts fighting to have it returned, to no avail.
“I’d like to have it back. It meant a lot to me at the time. It’s cost a lot of grief,” Mr da Costa told the Bulletin in 2013.
In court documents, Mr da Costa said Cr Tate provided $50,000 as a deposit for the collection of artworks including the sketch that the collector agreed to hand over to Mr Kovacevic for a value of $3.78 million.
The court was told Cr Tate received the Warhol print as security for the $50,000 and that the other works were stored in a local gallery.
Mr Kovacevic, in defending the claim, said the amount of the deal was $2.178 million and that he’d only acted as an agent for it.
Canberra web designer Evan Connell, operator of Apparition Online, said he built a website, U-D.com.au, which yesterday was advertising the Picasso sketch for $57 million.
The website was created for a company called Unexpected Distractions Pty Ltd, which is not a registered business name.
“Frank Kendt came to me to sell the artwork,” he said.
“I met with him six or seven times. He never paid me.”
Mr Connell said Mr Kendt had provided the photos and descriptions of the artwork which are identical to the listing on another website, picassofemme.com, which was made via a Canadian registry that obscured the owner’s identity.
Mr Connell said he had read about the court cases and left the U-D site up in the hope it would be discovered by someone who could reunite the artwork with its original owner. Through a friend, Mr Da Costa – who lives in northern NSW – yesterday said he felt “let down” by the legal system and everyone else involved and did not want to talk about it anymore.
The Mayor last night distanced himself from Mr Kovacevic, saying the other man had never been his “business associate”.
Mr Kovacevic yesterday did not want to answer any questions about the artwork, the website or anything else.