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De Kooning painting fetches record US$66m at Christie's
[NEW YORK] A Willem de Kooning painting fetched US$66.3 million at Christie's in New York, more than double the previous auction record for the abstract expressionist.
Estimated at about US$40 million, "Untitled XXV" from 1977 was the star lot of Christie's postwar and contemporary evening sale on Tuesday. The work was being sold by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia, through Lynden Management Ltd, according to a person familiar with the matter.
An avid art collector and investor, Ivanishvili bought the work privately in 2009, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private. At the time it was sold by Frank J Fertitta III, the chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos LLC, who acquired it for US$27.1 million at Christie's in 2006, the person said.
The previous de Kooning record was US$32.1 million, set in 2013.
Christie's declined to comment, as did Fertitta. Ivanishvili couldn't immediately be reached for comment.