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Report: Tehran art auction has record high sales

June 1, 2014

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state-owned newspaper is reporting that an annual art auction in the country’s capital, Tehran, has seen double the sales as compared to last year.

The Sunday report by the IRAN daily newspaper said 90 paintings, sculptures and photographs by Iranian artists were sold for some $4.05 million. In 2013, 80 works sold for $2 million.

The most expensive piece sold was an oil painting by the late Iranian painter and poet Sohrab Sepehri, which fetched at some $550,000 from an unnamed bidder from Canada who made the purchase by phone.

Art has become an investment haven for the rich in Iran, whose economy has been battered by Western sanctions over its contested nuclear program.

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