Picasso's Granddaughter Selling His Cannes Villa

Picasso's Granddaughter Selling His Cannes Villa

Pablo Picasso's granddaughter is selling his villa in Cannes and 126 of his ceramics as she tries to shake off unhappy childhood memories of the artist.

Marina Picasso, 64, remembers being taken to the gates of the grand three-storey house, La Californie, by her impoverished father, Paulo, to beg for handouts from an indifferent Picasso.

The sale "will be a way for me to turn the page on a rather painful story," told Marina Picasso.

She has reportedly received an offer of nearly US$ 172 million for the 1920 villa that she inherited at the age of 22, along with an extensive collection of his works. Sotheby's expects the ceramics to fetch up to US$ 9.2 million.

"It's not a house where I have a lot of good memories," she said. "I saw very little of my grandfather there. With hindsight, I understand that he may have been captivated by painting and nothing else was more important to him. Except when you're a child, you don't experience it like that."

Picasso bought the villa in 1955 and painted one of his most famous works there, The Bay of Cannes. He moved out in 1961 after his view of the sea was blocked by a new building. Marina Picasso renovated the villa in 1987 and renamed it the "Pavillon de Flore", although it is better known as "La Californie".

Marina Picasso says the sale will help her broaden her philanthropic projects. She funds a children's hospital in Vietnam and programs to help troubled teenagers and the elderly in Switzerland, where she spends much of her time.

Picasso lived at La Californie with his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, who barred Marina Picasso and her brother Pablito from the artist's funeral. Pablito Picasso committed suicide a few days later. Marina Picasso's father was Picasso's son by his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, a Russian-Ukrainian ballerina. He was humiliated by being forced to work as the artist's chauffeur.