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Watch: Basquiat painting sets new record for US artist at auction

Piece of art sold for €99 million sets new record for American art

The auction of a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died in 1987, grossed the highest price ever for an American artist and the sixth biggest sale in world history, Matthew Larotonda reports.

A rarely-glimpsed painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for a whopping €99.1 million, the highest auction price ever for an American artist.

It was originally expected to fetch roughly half that amount.

And it's a huge jump for the untitled work, which sold for only €16,145 in 1984.

Basquiat died four years later years later of a heroin overdose, aged 27, but today's price puts him into a pantheon of greats including Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

It was originally expected to fetch roughly half that amount.

The sale coming down to a good old-fashioned bidding war in New York.

Sotheby's international specialist of contemporary art and auctioneer, Oliver Barker, said: "Totally thrilling, I mean it really is such a privilege to have handled this extraordinary picture. We had an electrifying 10-minute bidding battle on the picture. I mean, this is what the auction theatre is really all about."

The canvas was bought by the founder of the e-commerce firm Start Today, Yusaku Maezawa, who intends to lend it to public art exhibits before retiring it to his home in his native Japan.

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