posted Thu, 16 Feb 2006
At a museum in Fez, the owner told us he could no longer afford to stay open. “I have to sell everything,” he said. He led us to the back of the store and lifted a plain wooden door as he told us this story.
“My grandparents got married. At their wedding were two young artists who could not afford to give them much, but they each painted a door.”
When he pulled back the door, he revealed another door with what appeared to be a painting by Picasso.
“Is that really Picasso?” I asked.
He didn’t have the papers, but yes, it was.
Then why not sell just the Picasso door? Surely that would generate enough revenue to keep the museum open for years to come.
Well, there were problems. He couldn’t let the Moroccan government know about this. He didn’t have the provenance. He couldn’t get it authenticated. But….
“I will sell you this door for $15,000.”
When we told the story to Steve and Megan, they said the same thing had happened to friend who had gone with our guide. “Did he ask you the part about if you are someone who takes risks?” Steve asked.