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Giacometti’s "Walking Man" fetches record price

The million dollar man and his admirers


A bronze statue by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti has broken the record for a work of art at auction, selling for $104.3 million (SFr110.67 million) at Sotheby's in London.

The price eclipsed Picasso's Garçon à la Pipe, which fetched $104.2 million in New York in 2004.

The life-size L'homme qui marche I (Walking Man I) was the first time a Giacometti figure of a walking man on such a large scale had come to auction in over 20 years, and its hammer price was around four times the auctioneer's pre-sale expectations.

The statue was sold by German banking firm Commerzbank AG, which acquired it when it took over Dresdner Bank in 2009. Dresdner acquired the sculpture in 1980.

The record was reached in just eight minutes of "fast and furious" bidding, according to Sotheby's, with at least ten potential purchasers battling it out for the rare work in a hushed sale room.

Sotheby's did not identify the buyer, saying only that it was an anonymous telephone bidder. and agencies

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