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Bronze Bambi, Babe Break Art Sale Record

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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OH, DEER 2,000-year-old art

A 2,000-year-old bronze statue titled Artemis and the Stag sold for $25.5 million through Sotheby's yesterday, becoming the most expensive sculpture ever to sell at auction. The buyer, London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi, intends to sell the piece to a museum collection, where he will most likely turn a profit. "I think they'll go flat-out to acquire something like this," he told the press.

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The piece was just one item in a $64 million series of sales from the Albright-Knox gallery's collection. The purveyor is just, you know, unloading 200 pieces of ancient art to fund the purchase of more modern pieces. For months, the sculpture was the center of a controversy about whether or not the gallery should liquidate its archives, but directors seemed pleased as punch after hearing the numbers from yesterday. Turns out that rusty old thing was worth it after all.

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