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Christie's clobbers Sotheby's with a gavel

An anonymous bidder paid US$179.4 million for Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger, smashing the record for the most expensive work ever sold at auction.

New York

THIS May, after billionaires had outbid billionaires in New York's contemporary art auctions, something became immediately clear: Christie's had just clobbered Sotheby's with a gavel.

Over four days, Christie's sales totalled US$1.7 billion, its biggest week ever. On one