efe-epaGeneva

A painting by the Spanish genius Pablo Picasso that became the property of 25,000 different people who collectively acquired it online piece-by-piece represents something quite new in the world of art, the director of the Swiss museum exhibiting the work told EFE on Saturday.

The "participative" artwork, titled "Buste de mousquetaire," was put on sale by the Swiss platform QoQa in Dec. 2017 and divided into 40,000 "pieces" sold at 50 francs ($50.7) each, with 25,000 online purchasers buying out the entire 2-million-franc canvass in less than 48 hours.

"This is very unusual in the world of art, which is generally reluctant when it comes to selling works to strangers," said Lionel Bovier, the director of Geneva's MAMCO museum of modern and contemporary art that displays the Picasso.

"It's the first purchase of an important modern work of art by the internet community," said MAMCO's institutional communications director, Viviane Rye.

The painting, completed by the maestro from Malaga in 1986, belongs to Picasso's late creative stage, in which he went back to some of the interests from his youth, with musketeers and bullfighters becoming recurring motifs, Bovier explained.

Its 25,000 owners, most of whom hail from Switzerland's French-speaking regions, have been provided with a card that allows free access to the museum for the six months that the work is set to be showcased there, as well as innovative initiatives such as a constant webcam feed that permits them to admire their share of the Picasso from any remote location.

MAMCO will host the piece until October, after which the painting's thousands of owners must vote on its next destination.