In a 12-minute live streamed video, Claudia Borgogno was announced as the winner of an oil painting by Pablo Picasso. The painting, titled Nature Morte (1921), was part of a Care charity raffle with tickets selling for €100 (£90) each to raise money for communities in need of clean water. The winning ticket was purchased by Borgogno’s son who gifted the ticket to her as a Christmas present. Now, Borgogno will have the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of Picasso in her own home.
Originally, the raffle was to end in January, but the deadline was extended through March to give more people the opportunity to participate. Then, due to COVID-19, the drawing was postponed until yesterday, when organisers gathered at Christie’s Paris to electronically draw the winning ticket. Borgogno’s ticket was selected from more than 51,000 tickets, which brought in more than €5 million for the Care charity. Care will use the proceeds to provide clean water to villages in Madagascar and Cameroon.
“Picasso would have loved an operation like this, because he was someone with a lot of interest in humanitarian and social causes,” said Peri Cochin, an organizer of the raffle, in Reuters. “This coronavirus crisis has made it clear how important it is to wash your hands, and that can only be done with clear water.”
“I have never won anything before,” Borgogno told The Guardian after learning that she’d won the Picasso. Borgogno, who lives in Ventimiglia, Italy, added that she’s still in shock that she’ll be bringing a work by the renowned Spanish artist home. “It was maybe the best decision in my life,” said Lorenzo Naso, Borgogno’s son, who purchased two raffle tickets for his mother in December. Naso didn’t actually watch the live streamed announcement, but later received a call from charity organisers. “When I arrived and I told her [Borgogno] she has won she was like: ‘Please don’t joke’,” continued Naso.
Relatively small, the painting is valued at €1 million (£900,000) and comes from the collection of David Nahmad, an art collector with the largest private collection of works by Picasso. Nature Morte is among the smallest of the 300 Picasso owned by Nahmad but according to the billionaire, the small painting is worth two or three times more than its €1m valuation. Nahmad will receive €900,000 for the work but he has also donated €100,000 to Care, according to raffle organisers.
Tickets were bought by people in more than 100 countries with France, the US, and Switzerland representing countries that purchased the most, overall. This was the second edition of the charity raffle, too. In 2013, a 25-year-old Pennsylvania man won Picasso’s L’Homme au Gibus (1914) in the charity’s first raffle.
For Naso, who lives in Paris but has stayed with his mother in Italy during the pandemic, and his mother, lockdown had been “pretty awful.” However, with the “great news” of the raffle, a time that will be remembered for so much pain and uncertainty will be punctuated by a moment of excitement for the mother and son.