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    Painting of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195m

    An iconic painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol is now the most expensive piece of 20th Century art ever sold, after it was auctioned for $195m (£158.17m) .

    The amount is also the highest ever paid for an American work of art.

    The painting, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was painted by Warhol in 1964 using a famous photograph as inspiration.

    Painting of Marilyn Monroe sold for  $195m

    Ahead of the auction by Christie’s  in New York, Christie’s wrote that the painting is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence”, with a selling price “in the region” of $200m.

    Bloomberg reports that the winning bidder was US art dealer Larry Gagosian, who owns a chain of art galleries.

    According to Christie’s on Monday, May 9, all the proceeds of the sale will go to the Switzerland-based Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, which works to establish healthcare and education programmes for children around the world.

    The auction ended with a sale price of $170m, which rose to $195m with taxes and fees taken into account.

    The price also smashes the previous record for a 20th Century work of art, set in 2015 when a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso – Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) – sold for $179.4m, including fees.

    The previous record price for a piece of American artwork was $110.5m for a skull painting created in 1982 by Warhol’s riva, Jean-Michael Basquiat.

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