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BBC Wales's Hefina Rendle
"Over the years thousands of pupils have walked past the haunting picture"
 real 28k

Friday, 31 March, 2000, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
School painting worth 200,000
Sotheby's, London
The painting is due to be auctioned at Sotheby's
A Victorian painting which had been hanging on a school wall in south east Wales since the 1950s has been valued at 200,000.

The painting by George Dunlop Leslie is due to be auctioned to raise money to build new classrooms at the overcrowded school near Newport.

Over the years thousands of pupils at Llantarnam Comprehensive School have walked past the haunting picture of "The Daughters of Eve".

Nobody had realised they were glancing at the work of a major Victorian artist who was a member of the Royal Academy.

It was bought, with a number of other items, for under 1,000.

School extension

Sotheby's, which will auction the painting, said it was considered to be one of his finest works and they expect it to reach a good price.

Its value as an antique means it can help to extend the school.

Headteacher David Kitchens is delighted at the good fortune.

"This school was built for 1,200 pupils and we currently have 1,350," he said.

"We do need an extra six to eight classrooms and it would make such a difference to the pupils."

George Dunlop Leslie (1835-1921) produced notable paintings including Two Women With Sunflowers, The Deserted Mill and - rather appropriately - Kept in School.

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