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Basquiat painting fetches record 110.5m dollars at New York auction

An artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for a record 110.5 million dollars (£85.3 million) at auction in New York.

Sotheby's said the sale of "Untitled" in Manhattan was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction. The 1982 painting depicts a face in the shape of a skull.

The piece was purchased by noted Japanese collector and entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

"When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art," said Maezawa, who plans to display it in his museum in Chiba, Japan after loaning it to institutions and exhibitions around the world.

"Untitled" was virtually unknown before it was unveiled at Sotheby's weeks ago. The auction house said it remained in the same private collection since it was bought at auction in 1984 for 19,000 dollars (£14,600)

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when "Untitled, 1982" sold for 57.3 million (£44.2 million), also to Maezawa.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.

AP

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