The New York Times has reported that Marina Picasso, granddaughter of the celebrated artist Pablo Picasso, is selling off many of her inherited artworks in order to finance her philanthropy projects. The news has worried the auction houses and major Picasso dealers, as she is preparing to ‘sell works privately and would judge “one by one, based on need,” how many, and which, of the remaining Picasso works, of about 10,000 that she inherited, she would put up for sale.’

Ms. Picasso has had a fraught relationship with her family, and there are reports that her increasingly urgent selling seems to be a way to “purge herself of her legacy.” Picasso left no will when he died at 91, which created animosity between his widow, children and grandchildren. Marina Picasso was unexpectedly named an heir, and she inherited a fifth of the estate. “People say I should appreciate my inheritance and I do,” Ms. Picasso said in an interview, “but it is an inheritance without love.”

The main worry is that unguided, Ms Picasso could flood the market with the works and depress prices. Picasso’s biographer John Richardson commented: “Instead of having a dealer show them, it’s been an open secret that there are works for sale and people have been asking other people if they would be interested. I’ve been asked by odd people who tell me, ‘We are in on a great deal, and Marina is selling all her stuff.’ ”