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Want to own a Picasso work? Buy a raffle and try your luck

Paris

IT is the closest that anyone outside the super rich is ever likely to get to owning a painting by Picasso. A canvas by the Spanish master worth more than one million euros (S$1.5 million) is to be raffled off for charity.

Anyone buying a 100-euro ticket in the international draw has a one-in-200,000 chance of winning a still life of a stylised glass of absinthe and a newspaper that Picasso created in 1921.

The draw, whose proceeds will go to charity Care to combat poverty in Africa, was launched at the Picasso Museum in Paris this week.

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The last time the organisers held one, six years ago, Picasso's Man With Opera Hat was won by a 25-year-old Pittsburgh fire safety official who was looking for something to decorate his home. The five million euros raised went to help preserve the ancient city of Tyre in Lebanon.

"Art and charity usually come together at gala dinners, where a few (wealthy) people fork out millionaire sums for a painting," said Peri Cochin, the French television producer behind the draw. She hopes to raise up to 19 million euros for Care from the new raffle.

About 50,000 people - mostly from the US, Britain, Mexico and Brazil - took part in the last draw.

The painting this time comes from billionaire Lebanese-born collector David Nahmad, who has one of the biggest private collections of Picassos in the world. He will get one million euros from the draw, with the rest going to the charity.

Picasso Museum director Laurent Le Bon said the painting comes from a period when Picasso "synthesised the realist and cubist currents" of his work. He added that it is a painting "that makes people think and dream".

The draw, which is being run through the 1picasso100euros.com website, will take place in Paris on Jan 6 next year. AFP