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Picasso fetches GBP 13.5m at London auction

22nd June 2011

A rarely-seen 1935 Picasso painting has fetched over GBP 13 million at auction in London, exceeding expectations for the portrait.

Jeune Fille Endormie, which depicts the artist's young lover, Marie-Therese Walter, had only been seen once in public before and was expected to fetch in the region of GBP 10 million when auctioned at Christie's.

However, the painting was eventually bought by an anonymous bidder for GBP 13.5 million and was immediately donated to the University of Sydney with the proviso that funds from its sale are used for scientific research.

Dr Michael Spence from the university said it was a 'very generous and far-sighted gift' that will be used to fund research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

'We are grateful for their extraordinary generosity and delighted with the outcome of the auction,' he added.

Last year, another Picasso portrait of Walter, titled Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sold for a world record GBP 66 million at Christie's in New York City.

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