A painting by Italian Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani sold at auction in Jerusalem for $8.6 million, despite not actually being in the country.
It is believed to be the most expensive piece of art ever sold in Israel. Its sale tops that of a painting by Camille Pissarro which once sold in Israel for $1.2 million.
The Modigliani oil painting from 1919 which sold on Tuesday by the Matsart gallery and auction house is called “Portrait de Annie Bjarne” and comes from the private collection of Israeli businessman and millionaire Meshulam Riklis.
The painting remained in New York in order to avoid the 18 percent value added tax on the sale in Israel. Bidders were able to view it in photographs, however.