Bruno Bich, the heir to the Bic pens fortune and the company’s former CEO, is suing his estranged wife over a Pablo Picasso painting, a couple of Alberto Giacometti sculptures, and several other works of art.
Filed this week in a Delaware state court, the complaint alleges that Baroness Veronique Bich refuses to give up “millions of dollars’ worth of artwork” in two of the couple’s apartments in New York and Paris, which she occupies. Among the 28 pieces mentioned are a pair of Balthus canvases, a paper collage by Jean Dubuffet, a drawing by Andy Warhol, and a 1937 Portrait of Dora Maar by Picasso.
According to the suit, the artworks belong to a trust established in 1993 by Marcel Bich—Bruno’s father and the founder of the Société Bic—of which Veronique has never been listed as a beneficiary. The couple are still technically married, though they live apart and Veronique has, since 2017, sought a separation.
Bruno has repeatedly asked for the return of the artworks, but his wife has refused, allegedly asserting that the objects are subject to distribution as part of the would-be separation agreement.
With the complaint, Bruno is asking the state to declare the trust the rightful owner of the art and to issue an injunction preventing Veronique from keeping or selling the artworks.
An attorney for Bruno Bich did not immediately respond to a request for comment.