Huffpost Arts

American Donates Picasso Painting To University Of Sydney

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SYDNEY -- An anonymous American donor has given a Pablo Picasso painting worth millions to the University of Sydney on the condition the school use proceeds from the painting's sale to fund scientific research, officials said Wednesday.

The 1935 painting, "Jeune fille endormie," depicts Picasso's lover, Marie-Therese Walter, and is expected to fetch up to 18 million Australian dollars ($19.5 million) when it is auctioned at Christie's in London in June, university officials said in a statement.

The portrait was donated last year by someone in the United States who requested anonymity, said the university's vice chancellor, Michael Spence. The donor personally flew the painting to Sydney and gave it to the school with the strict orders that it be sold to fund scientific research at the university, Spence said.

Some of the money from the sale will be used to support research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Spence said.

"This is an absolute jewel of a painting by one of the great artistic geniuses of Western art, and we are pleased to be able to support the University of Sydney by offering it at auction," Giovanna Bertazzoni, director of impressionist and modern art at Christie's in London, said in a statement.

Last year, another Picasso portrait of Walter sold for $106.5 million – a world record price for any work of art sold at auction.