Picasso Accused Of Art "Theft"

He was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and also one of the most controversial. And now, 33 years after his death, the first significant exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s work in South Africa has provoked a furious row after a senior government official accused him of stealing the work of African artists to boost his “flagging talent”. “Today the truth is on display that Picasso would not have been the renowned creative genius he was if he did not steal and re-adapt the work of ‘anonymous (African) artists’.” The Picasso and Africa exhibition, which has been drawing capacity crowds at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery, contains 84 original works by Picasso along with 29 African sculptures similar to those in the artist’s own collection, and is described as an “innovative dialogue between Picasso’s work and his African inspiration”. Picasso is not the only artists to have been accused of appropriating African art without giving full credit. Amedeo Modigliani, the Italian sculptor, was also said to have drawn inspiration from African masks. For the full story - click the title Irish Art