Warhol Mao portrait fetches $12.7M in HK auction

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HONG KONG: A classic Andy Warhol portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong fetched $12.7 million at auction in Hong Kong on Sunday, Sotheby’s said—well short of the top estimate of more than $15 million. The sale of the 1973 screen print by the legendary US pop artist attracted plenty of attention before going under the hammer in the semi-autonomous city owing to sensitivity about any use of Mao’s image in China. The top sale price estimate of more than $15 million was the highest the auction house had ever seen for a painting in Asia. The identity of the buyer was not released. Mao’s legacy as Communist China’s founding father makes him inseparable from official propaganda extolling the party’s ruling legitimacy, and his huge portrait still overlooks vast Tiananmen Square and appears on Chinese banknotes.

AFP

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