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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
'Berlusconi's fat' moulded to art
An art work purportedly made from excess fat from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sold for $18,000 (9,862).

Switzerland-based artist Gianni Motti claims to have bought the fat from a clinic where the leader had a liposuction operation performed.

He moulded it into a bar of soap which he named Mani Pulite (Clean Hands).

The work was put on display at the Art Basel fair in Switzerland and was sold to a private Swiss collector.

Motti gave it the title Clean Hands as a reference to an anti-corruption campaign of the 1990s. It reflects the artist's view of the current government.

"I came up with the idea of because soap is made of pig fat, and I thought how much more appropriate it would be if people washed their hands using a piece of Berlusconi," Motti told Weltwoche magazine.

Motti's work was part of the display from the Galerie Nicola von Senger of Zurich, one of 270 worldwide galleries exhibiting contemporary works.

All the works on display were for sale, with prices topping $45,000 (24,658) as collectors hope to uncover the big names of the future.

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