Sold for 250,000 British Pounds: doodle on a wall by Picasso

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A drunken doodle on a wall by Picasso has been bought for £250,000 by the nation's biggest medical charity because it symbolises an unusual meeting of great scientific and artistic minds.

Representing the only "mural" Picasso produced in England, the work was created in November 1950 while the artist visited the home of his friend, Prof John Desmond Bernal of Birkbeck College, one of the greatest British scientists of the last century.

Drawn in crayon on plaster, it depicts a couple with laurel wreaths and wings, rather than anything scientific. [Story includes photo of mural.]

The Wellcome Trust has acquired "Bernal's Picasso" from London's Institute of Contemporary Arts and will put it on display as part of the Wellcome Collection, a £30m venue in London that will explore the connections between medicine, life and art, and is due to open in June...

The cost is small relative to the £500 million that the charity invests each year in science, said Dr Ken Arnold, head of public programmes, adding that the purchase is part of Wellcome's policy of engaging the public by bringing art and science together.

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