Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 11:58 UK

Warhol's Jackson goes to auction

(Green) Michael Jackson 1984 - by Andy Warhol
The portrait was commissioned to celebrate Thriller's record sales

A portrait by Andy Warhol of the late singer Michael Jackson is set to be auctioned in New York.

Ahead of the sale, the 1984 portrait will be on show at London's British Music Experience, inside the O2 Arena, where Jackson had been due to perform.

"This Andy Warhol portrait brings together the uncontested King of Pop Art with the uncontested King of Pop," said Janet Lehr, acting for the seller.

Warhol's painting of actress Liz Taylor, fetched $23.7m (£14m) in 2007.

In the same year, the 1963 painting Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) - depicting an overturned car on fire - sold for $71.7m (£42.8m), a record for a Warhol piece.

"The portrait was painted at the height of their careers and is a celebration of two of the great talents in global cultural history," said Ms Lehr, of the Jackson artwork.

American artist Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement, and he experimented by creating artworks from mass-produced images from American popular culture.

He died in 1987, following a gall bladder operation.

Autopsy results

The British Music Experience will be the only European venue to host the 1984 portrait ahead of the auction.

Earlier this week it was announced that details of Michael Jackson's autopsy results would be announced imminently.

Speculation continues about the possible role prescription drugs played in the singer's death.

The singer suffered a cardiac arrest at his rented home in Los Angeles on 25 June, at the age of 50.



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