Pablo Picasso’s Daughter Had a Unique Way of Paying Her Tax Bill

The art she donated will be on display beginning next year

Pablo Picasso's children
Picture released on September 10, 1976 of artist Pablo Picasso's children and heirs meeting at the Marseille court to identify the paintings stolen in Avignon. (From L to R): Maya Widmaier-Picasso, Paloma Picasso, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso (grandson), Christine Ruiz-Picasso (wife of Paulo Picasso) and Claude Picasso.
AFP via Getty Images

History abounds with tales of wealthy and high-profile figures who have wound up with issues paying their taxes. The most famous, arguably, is that of Willie Nelson which found the legendary country singer’s assets being seized by the IRS. But Nelson is far from alone in this, and over the years, tax code enforcement has involved some creative solutions.

The latest example of this comes from France, where Maya Ruiz-Picasso contended with her own tax bill though a novel arrangement. As Neha Tandon Sharma at reports, Ruiz-Picasso donated eight works of art and a sketchbook — all work by her father — to offset the amount she owed in taxes.

This is the kind of maneuver that works well if your father happens to be Pablo Picasso, as is the case for Ruiz-Picasso. A recent report from ARTnews has even more information on the transaction. The items donated — six paintings (including the 1938 Child with a Lollipop Sitting Under a Chair), two sculptures and the aforementioned sketchbook — will be on display at the Musée Picasso in Paris starting next year.

Writing at ARTnews, Tessa Solomon notes that “[c]itizens of France have been allowed to settle similar debts to Ruiz-Picasso’s with a payment of arts, books, and collectibles of national importance since 1968.” As literal tradeoffs go, it doesn’t sound like a bad exchange for either party.

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