A diamond-encrusted human skull created by artist Damien Hirst has sold to an investment group for £50m ($100m).
The platinum cast of an 18th Century skull is covered in 8,601 jewels. It is thought to be the world's most expensive piece of contemporary art.
A spokeswoman for the White Cube gallery in London could not give further details about the buyers.
However, she said they planned to re-sell the artwork at a later date. Hirst also retains part-ownership.
The artwork, based on the skull of a 35-year-old 18th century European man, caused a sensation when it first went on display in central London on 3 June - not least because of its price tag.
Some critics dismissed it as tasteless while others saw it as a reflection of celebrity-obsessed culture.
Hirst said the piece, called For the Love of God, was "uplifting" and "takes your breath away".
The centrepiece of the 41-year-old's creation is a pear-shaped pink diamond, set in the forehead.
New teeth were also made for the artwork, which is thought to have cost about £14m to create.
Hirst plans to take the skull on a global tour of art galleries
Hirst is planning a global tour for the skull following its sale, said a spokeswoman for the White Cube gallery. However, no dates or locations have been confirmed.
She added that, as the artist had retained a share in the artwork, he would benefit financially if it was sold in the future.
Earlier this year, one of Hirst's trademark medicine cabinets became the most expensive work by a living European artist to be sold at auction.
Lullaby Spring, which contains 6,136 individually painted pills, sold for £9.65m at Sotheby's in London.
The British artist, who is most famous for preserving animals in formaldehyde, has rejected suggestions that his works are a standing joke against the art establishment.