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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 08:37 GMT
Monks' paintings sell for 11m
Monet's work
Monet's works are always popular at auction
A sale of paintings on behalf of an order of monks has beaten all expectations by selling for 11m.

The three works, by Impressionists Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Fauve artist Maurice de Vlaminck fetched 3m more than the highest pre-auction estimates.

The 11m raised would certainly buy the monks a lot of robes

The pictures were given to the St Francis of Assisi Foundation by an anonymous European art collector.

Money raised from the sale at Christie's in London will go towards aid projects run by the monks in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Brazil.

The most valuable painting was De Vlaminck's La Seine Chatou, which went under the hammer for 7.15m - double the estimate.

The Vlaminck, said to be the artist's most important work, was bought by French actor Alain Delon for $7.15m (5m) in 1989, shortly before he sold it onto the anonymous owner who gave it to the monks' charity.

Unnamed buyers Renoir's L'Estaque raised 2.2m, while Monet's Golfe d'Antibes made 1.65m.

All three works went to unnamed buyers.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said: "The monks will be delighted with the sale.

< "The bidding was intense, especially with the de Vlaminck, and the total raised was well above the estimate."

The spokeswoman added the sum raised "would certainly buy the monks a lot of robes".

The day's sale of impressionist, modern and surrealist art at Christie's fetched a total of 48.8m - the highest total for more than a decade in the impressionist and modern schools.

Eleven works were auctioned for more than 1m.

See also:

04 Feb 02 | Arts
Monks sell 8m art
25 Jul 01 | Arts
$40m art sale for charity
01 Dec 01 | Arts
Reynolds painting fetches 10m
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