France is set to receive nine artworks by Pablo Picasso as part of an arrangement between his daughter, Maya Ruiz-Picasso, and the French government. The group of works—six paintings, two sculptures, and a sketchbook—were donated by Ruiz-Picasso to help settle an inheritance tax bill, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said during a press conference Monday at the Picasso Museum in Paris.
“It is an honour for our country to welcome these new artworks by Picasso. They will enrich and deepen our cultural heritage,” Le Maire wrote on Twitter.
At the press conference, Le Maire presented one work to the audience, the 1938 painting called Child with a Lollipop Sitting Under a Chair. According to Olivier Widmaier-Picasso, the artist’s grandson, the painting depicts his mother Maya. Widmaier-Picasso was present at the ceremony alongside Maya and his sister, Diana. The oldest work in the collection is Don Jose Ruiz, a portrait from 1895 of Picasso’s father.
Citizens of France have been allowed to settle similar debts to Ruiz-Picasso’s with a payment of arts, books, and collectibles of national importance since 1968, though such high-profile gifts are rare. The collective value of the nine objects was not disclosed.
The gifts will enter the national collections at Paris’s Musée Picasso in 2022, according to Roselyne Bachelot, France’s culture minister, who added at the press conference that that the artworks will be exhibited as a whole to the public in spring 2022.
“It is with deep emotion that I come to celebrate the entry into the national collections of the works,” said Bachelot, who called the donation an “exceptional event.”