Qatar said to buy Picasso painting for $76m

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The gas-rich state of Qatar has purchased Pablo Picasso’s ‘Child with a Dove’ painting for £50m ($76m), according to a report in France’s Le Figaro.

The 1901 work by the Cubist Spaniard, which has been in a UK collection for almost 80 years, is set to leave Britain after no museum was able to raise the necessary funds to keep the painting.

Arts Council England was last year advised over the significance of the painting, which marked the start of Picasso’s Blue Period, prompting Culture Minister Ed to put an export ban in place on the painting.

The bar expired on December 16, paving the way for the work’s departure from the UK.

Wealthy Qatar has emerged a major buyer of vintage art works. In early 2012 Qatari royals paid £158m ($250m) for Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players painting, making it the highest sum ever paid for an artwork.

Qatar has in the recent past also bought Mark Rothko’s White Centre (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) and Damien Hirst’s pill cabinet Lullaby Spring.

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