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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Francis Bacon painting sells for $70 million, Koons' egg for $23 million at London auction

LONDON - A portrait by Francis Bacon has sold for 42.2 million pounds ($70 million) at a London auction, while an egg by U.S. artist Jeff Koons cracked the 14 million pound ($23 million) mark.

Auctioneer Christie's says Bacon's image of his lover and muse, "Portrait of George Dyer Talking," sold Thursday to an anonymous telephone bidder.

The price was well over the pre-sale estimate of about 28 million pounds.

The value of Bacon's work has soared since his death in 1992. In November, a Bacon triptych depicting artist Lucian Freud fetched $142 million, becoming the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

Koons' stainless steel sculpture "Cracked Egg (Magenta)" sold for almost 14.1 million pounds, near its upper estimate.

The prices include a fee known as the buyer's premium.

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