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Painting sale sets $300m record

BBC News logo BBC News 2/7/2015
In this Feb. 6, 2015 picture women look at the painting "Nafea faa ipoipo?" (1892) by French painter Paul Gauguin in the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland. The Swiss owners of one of French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin’s most famous works from his time in Tahiti say they’ve sold the painting, but won’t reveal the price or buyer. Ruedi Staehelin, who speaks for the Staehelin Family Trust, confirmed to The Associated Press only that the oil painting, called “Nafea faa ipoipo?” _ Tahitian for “When will you marry?” _ has been sold. Citing unnamed art world insiders, Swiss media had reported earlier this week that the painting was bought by Qatari royalty for $300 million, making it the most expensive painting ever. © AP Photo/Keystone,Georgios Kefalas In this Feb. 6, 2015 picture women look at the painting "Nafea faa ipoipo?" (1892) by French painter Paul Gauguin in the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland. The Swiss owners of one of French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin’s most famous works from his time in Tahiti say they’ve sold the painting, but won’t reveal the price or buyer. Ruedi Staehelin, who speaks for the Staehelin Family Trust, confirmed to The Associated Press only that the oil painting, called “Nafea faa ipoipo?” _ Tahitian for “When will you marry?” _ has been sold. Citing unnamed art world insiders, Swiss media had reported earlier this week that the painting was bought by Qatari royalty for $300 million, making it the most expensive painting ever.

A painting of two Tahitian girls by the French artist Paul Gauguin has been sold for $300m (£197m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo, or When Will You Marry?, was painted in 1892 and had been owned by a Swiss collector.

Unconfirmed reports suggest it was sold to a museum in Qatar.

The small oil-rich state paid the previous highest price for a painting, a work by Paul Cezanne which sold for $259m.

Before its sale, the Gaugin artwork had been owned by Rudolf Staechelin, a collector from Basel.

For decades it had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel but Mr Staechelin decided to sell the painting after a disagreement with the museum, US media report.

Mr Staechelin told the New York Times he would not divulge the identity of the buyer.

It was not immediately clear where the sale had taken place.

However the paper, which first reported the sale, quoted sources saying the painting had been sold to Qatari buyers.

Officials in Qatar have not yet confirmed the purchase.

The sheikhdom's royal family has in recent years spent vast amounts of money on Western art.

Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, a former minister of culture who died last year, lavished more than $1bn of the country's money on artworks.

Qatar sponsored a 2012 Damien Hirst retrospective in the UK which later moved to the country's capital Doha, and has invested large sums of money financing museums of Islamic and modern Arab art.

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