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Monaco’s Picasso show under fire

Concerns have been raised about a show of works drawn from the Nahmad family collection

A show of works by Picasso, drawn from the collection of the art-dealing Nahmad dynasty, is scheduled to open at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum next month. More than 100 paintings have been loaned by the Impressionist and Modern art dealers David and Ezra Nahmad, who are brothers, for “Monaco Celebrates Picasso” (12 July-15 September). But according to the Daily Telegraph, a UK newspaper, concerns have been raised in Monaco, as David Nahmad’s son, the New York-based dealer Hillel Nahmad (known as Helly), faces charges of racketeering and money laundering.

In April, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York and named Hillel Nahmad as one of 34 defendants in a case against alleged members and associates of two related Russian-American organised-crime businesses. Helly Nahmad denies the charges (David and Ezra Nahmad are not connected to the case). Marie-Claude Beaud, the director of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, reportedly said: “The question is… whether to go ahead with the exhibition or not.” There are concerns that it may prove an embarrassment to Prince Albert II of Monaco. The show will open as planned, a spokeswoman for the Grimaldi Forum says.

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