The London Museum of Art secretly purchased a rare Marc Chagall painting at a Paris auction.
The small gallery bought the 1945 painting created in response to the Holocaust for a fraction of its value, estimated at $1.6 million. The museum paid about $43,000, the Times of London reported.
The painting, “Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio,” was purchased in secret in October to prevent larger museums from driving up the price, according to the newspaper. The museum was also concerned that if French authorities realized what a precious piece of artwork had been sold, officials would not have granted an export license, according to the Times.
The gouache painting, which uses a crucifixion to represent the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, reportedly remained in the artist’s personal collection until his death. His son sold it to a private collector in France in 1985.
It is scheduled to go on display this week.