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Art historian Arabelle Reille, left, and television producer Peri Cochin pose in the Picasso Museum in Paris, March 3, 2020, in front of “Nature Morte,” painted by Pablo Picasso in 1921. The two women are organizers of a raffle for charity, offering the oil on canvas that belongs to billionaire art collector David Nahmad.

AP Photo / John Leicester

AP Paris multimedia reporter John Leicester convinced David Nahmad, a publicity-shy billionaire art dealer who has accumulated over decades the world’s largest private collection of works by Pablo Picasso, to throw open his luxury Monaco home for an exclusive and rare all-formats interview about why he is selling one of his paintings for charity. Nahmad had spoken briefly to a French radio station about raffling of “Nature Morte,” painted by Picasso in 1921, but Leicester proposed that for international audiences, the billionaire should speak exclusively to AP, surrounded by some of his art collection, estimated to be worth $3 billion. The story managed to elbow its way into the news agenda dominated by virus coverage, rising to No. 8 on the list of most-viewed AP stories.