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BBC: Klimt crowns record art auction

A sale of Impressionist and 20th century art in New York has made more than $491m (£255m), breaking the record for an art auction.

A 1912 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, by the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt fetched almost $88m (£45m).

The painting was one of five Klimt works looted by the Nazis and returned to their owners earlier this year.

A Picasso, due to be sold by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was withdrawn at the last minute after disputes over ownership.

Christopher Burge, chief auctioneer at Christie's, underlined the scale of the sale's success.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said. "It was the most extraordinary auction I've been involved in."

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 11:04:17 PM EST
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