The pilot's representatives sent a complete package of information to Claude Picasso - including the pilot's testimony, video deposition, and photos of the paintings owned by the pilot. The letter also asked if it would be possible for Claude to check with Francois Gilot (Claude's mother) to see if she had any information about the paintings since she was living with Picasso during that time. The letter expressed great urgency explaining that the pilot was near death and wanted to have his affairs in order before he passed.
Claude Picasso's Response in 1993
The letter sent to Claude Picasso in 1986 was left unanswered, and it was not until 1993, when the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) sent correspondence, that he answered.
Review of Claude Picasso's Response
His statement was that “this was a fresh addition to his file”. This statement bothered me. From what I can infer - he had never seen anything that resembled this one - meaning date, style, etc…. So if the pilot’s painting came from a “copy of a copy” - how would Claude say he had never seen anything like it? Certainly he's seen a fair number of forgeries...
But let's look at something else - the representatives for the pilot - while the pilot was still alive - but at the end of his life - wrote to Claude Picasso - and sent him all of the information about the painting. They sent the videotape deposition, photographs of the paintings along with the pilot's written testimony. This was sent in 1986. For Claude Picasso to say in 1993 that he had never seen anything like it before was untrue. Not only had he something like it before - he had seen it before... It is possible that Claude Picasso had not received the information sent to him - but the information was also sent to the Picasso Committee, and to Francois Gilot. It would be very difficult to believe that he had not been informed.
Claude Picasso's letter also states that the original drawing is on display at the Museum in St. Denis - however - there does not seem to be any verification for this claim.
Musee d’ Art et d’Histoire in Saint-Denis
It also seems implausible that a man on his death bed would plead with Claude Picasso to help him authenticate the painting - and for him to ask Claude to ask Francois Gilot (Claude's mother) who was with Picasso during the time of the pilot's testimony - as Claude had not been born yet - if she had any information that would help confirm his testament. If it had been a forgery - again - why would the pilot - on his death bed - ask Claude to check with his mom - someone who could stipulate with certainty that the pilot was lying?
But what reason would Claude Picasso have to so quickly and vehemently determine that the painting was a fake without even seeing it?
A painter's heirs have nothing to gain by authenticating hitherto unattributed works that are not in their possession. They have no desire to undermine the value of the works they do own by allowing the market to be flooded with works that they don't. The Picasso Administration in Paris receives hundreds of requests for authentication every day; few, if any, are successful.
Maybe are underlying reasons that Claude Picasso would not want to see the painting - and not be motivated to authenticate it - and instead - be highly motivated to protest it's authenticity.