Wynn sells $100 million worth of paintings - Friday 14th of October 2005

Casino magnate Steve Wynn has sold-off two paintings - one by Vincent van Gogh and the other by Paul Gauguin - to billionaire hedge-fund investor Steve Cohen for more than $100 million, the New York Times reports. The paintings are van Goghs "Peasant Woman Against a Backdrop of Wheat" (1890) and Gauguins "Bathers" (1902), which once hung in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts and were included in a 1999 catalog of its holdings.

The sale was brokered by William Acquavella, the Manhattan dealer who has advised Cohen and Wynn over the years. People familiar with the negotiations place the sale price around $110 million, although both Cohen and Wynn have declined to comment.

The Gauguin is one of the artists signature Tahitian images depicting a family of bathers in a lush landscape with an ocean backdrop. Wynn purchased the painting in the late 1990s from a member of the Goulandris family, Greek shippers known as serious art collectors. He also purchased the van Gogh painting, which depicts a seated woman wearing a blue dress and straw hat, in the late 1990s as well.

Wynn, like many collectors, is both a steady buyer and seller of artwork. He parted with works by Modigliani and Cezanne, for example, at auction and private sales.

The new $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas recorded $10.2 million in income for the third quarter, with an operating cash flow of $67.5 million.

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