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Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Sunday, 18 January 2009

Putin's record-breaking painting

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A picture sketched by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has fetched a record 37 million roubles ($1.15 million) at a charity auction in his hometown of St Petersburg.

The painting of snowfall seen through a window, finished by a professional artist, features a sprawling "Putin" signature and was introduced with the words: "Here is a new artist".

It has become the most expensive painting ever sold in Russia, selling for more than the fourth version of Kazimir Malevich's Black Square which was bought by the Hermitage museum in 2004 for $1 million.

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