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Italian Mother Wins Rs 8 Crore Worth Picasso

PARIS:An Italian accountant whose son bought her a raffle ticket as a Christmas present won a Pablo Picasso oil painting valued at €1m ($1.1m) in a charity draw on Wednesday.

Claudia Borgogno summed up her amazement in one word: incredible. “I have never won anything before,” said the 58-year-old told from Ventimiglia, in north-western Italy.

Borgogno said she liked Picasso and the prospect of being able to hang one of his paintings on her wall was still sinking in.

Her son, Lorenzo Naso, bought two tickets, worth €100 each, in December, sending one to his mother. “It was maybe the best decision in my life,” he said.

The ticket was picked out in an electronic draw at the auction house Christies in Paris.

Organisers valued the painting, Nature Morte, or Still Life, as being worth $1.1m. The billionaire art collector who provided it, David Nahmad, said the work wasworth at least two or three times that.

The 51,140 tickets sold online for €100 ($109) each. Proceeds are going to provide water for villagers in Madagascar and Cameroon.

The draw was originally scheduled for March but delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Naso said he had not realised it was taking place on Wednesday and was not watching the live broadcast.

The call from organisers to say that his mother had won came as shock. “When I arrived and I told her she has won she was like: ‘Please don’t joke’,” he said.

Naso, an analyst for the European Union’s securities markets regulator, lives in Paris but has been staying with his mother in Italy during the coronavirus lockdown. “It was a pretty awful period for us during this lockdown and now its great news,” he said.

Nahmad will be paid €900,000 for the work. The painting was the smallest of 300 works by Picasso that he owns, the largest private collection of works by the Spanish artist.

The small still life, which is signed Picasso, shows a newspaper and a glass of absinthe on a wood table. Picasso painted it in 1921.

Tickets were bought in more than 100 countries, with the bulk sold in France, the United States, Switzerland and Italy. The winner of a similar raffle in 2013 was a 25-year-old fire sprinkler worker from Pennsylvania.

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