News sources around the world are reporting rumours about the ownership of pieces of artwork by Michael, worth a reputed nine hundred million dollars.
One particular rumour states that Thome Thome, one time ‘manager’ of Michael, had given them to Brett Livingstone Strong, who painted a portrait of Michael, and who also taught him to draw and paint. There is reputed to be a letter from him to Strong telling him that Michael wanted him to have them, to dispose of however he saw fit, to thank him for his friendship and loyalty.
Strong is thought to have negotiated the sale of the collection to an international businessman. Lawyers are currently investigating the validity of Thome’s letter to Strong. Appraiser Eric Finzi told Star magazine the one hundred and eighty-two piece collection, which has never been seen publicly, has, “an invaluable pedigree for future sales in the international art market.”
He added: “Michael’s mystique in life combined with this exposure of his wonderful fine art creations following his tragic death, will escalate the value of these works and the popularity of his artistic vision worldwide. I do not think we have begun to see the true value of this fine art yet.”
The collection is made up of drawings, sketches and sculptures made by Michael over a number of years. Among the artworks are sketches of Martin Luther King, President Abraham Lincoln and President George Washington, said to be worth in all, more than eight point one million dollars, sketches of Michael’s own feet, doing his signature dance move the ‘Moonwalk,’ and recreations of the Statue of David and Dying Slave, the masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo.
Other pieces are some of Michael’s personal possessions, including a rocking chair from the White House, which once belonged to President John F. Kennedy. News sources find it strange that this gift would be given to Strong, at a time when Michael was reportedly in severe financial straits.