Pablo Picasso's ex-electrician and his wife are on trial in France. They are accused of concealing stolen goods and face up to five years in prison and fines.
According to an Associated Press report, the couple claims that Pablo Picasso or his wife gave them 180 lithographs, collages and paintings, along with 91 sketchbook drawings around 1970. At the time, the defendant, Pierre Le Guennec, was working for the artist in his home on and near the French Riviera.
The state prosecutor and Picasso heirs say the couple are not telling the truth, that Picasso usually autographed works he gave away and never gave away such a "massive trove."
The electrician kept the works in his garage for years, and about five years ago, Le Guennec began worrying about what might come of the works after his death. He wanted to avoid any legal headaches for his children, so he contacted the Picasso administration, which looks after works held by his heirs, according to the AP report.
The couple have had differing versions about how they came to possess the art. Pierre said that Picasso's then-wife, Jacqueline, handed him a closed box, saying, "Here, it's for you. Take it home." — and they never discussed it again. His wife has said Picasso was tidying his studio and handed the works to her husband, who brought them home in a trash bag.