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Picasso painting sold for $1.6 million at Tokyo auction



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TOKYO, Sept 16 (AFP) - A Pablo Picasso painting, "Buste de Femme", fetched 180 million yen (1.6 million dollars) at an auction here on Saturday.

The painting, drawn in his Cubist style in 1960, features a woman's profile and face. The mostly gray oil painting was modelled on Jacqueline Locke, the Frenchwoman with whom Picasso spent the last 20 years until his death in 1973.

Shinwa Art Auction took bids Saturday for "Buste de Femme" and eight other Picasso paintings along with works by other top 20th century artists including Marc Chagall, Bernard Buffet, Maurice Vlaminck and Moise Kisling.

The auction house had estimated before the sale that "Buste de Femme" was worth 130-200 million yen (1.2-1.8 million dollars).

The winning bidder lives in Japan, the auction house said. It declined to disclose how the works came onto the market for reasons of privacy.

Artwork by Western masters became status symbols in Japan during its rapid rise into the world's second largest economy after World War II, but many paintings were sold off after the so-called "bubble economy" collapsed in the early 1990s.

kh/dr/ag

AFPLifestyle-Japan-art-Picasso

COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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