Russian Billionaire Makes $30 Million Point Over (Alleged) $25 Million Swindle

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Not the $118 million bargain Dmitry Rybolovlev thought he was getting.

Pablo Picasso’s stepdaughter has gotten her paintings back so that oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev can prove that his artistic consigliere screwed him andSteve Cohen over big-time.

But Mr. Rybolovlev’s decision is much more than just a chivalrous, expensive gesture. The man from whom he bought the portraits, Yves Bouvier, is also Mr. Rybolovlev’s adversary in what has become perhaps the largest feud in the art world today. And by returning the art in such a public fashion, he is drawing attention to their broader fight.

For the past year, Mr. Rybolovlev has been battling Mr. Bouvier in courtrooms in Paris, Monaco, Singapore and Hong Kong in a dispute that has shed light on some of the murkier corners of the international art market. He has accused Mr. Bouvier, who helped him amass his collection, of fraud by overcharging him as much as $1 billion for multiple pieces of art...The feud began last year, Mr. Rybolovlev said, when by chance he met an art adviser over lunch during a Caribbean vacation and discovered that — in a purchase arranged by Mr. Bouvier — he had paid $118 million for a Modigliani painting that a hedge fund billionaire, Steven A. Cohen, had sold for only $93.5 million.

The Billionaire, the Picassos and a $30 Million Gift to Shame a Middleman [NYT]

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In the news this week you will find two stories of men soothing what ails them through retail therapy: that of Friday Night Lights writer Buzz Bissinger, who confessed in the pages of GQ to spending over $600,000 at the House of Gucci in a leather fetish/bondage binge that resulted in him coming to own 'eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves' and Steve Cohen, who will not be held down by SEC settlements topping half a billion dollars or bulls-eyes on his back. Earlier this week it was reported that the SAC Capital founder had picked up Picasso's Le Rêve for $155 million as "a gift to himself" and now he's got a place to put it: