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Auction of art from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s estate could raise £842m

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Some 150 artworks from the collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York this autumn and are expected to bring in more than one billion dollars (£842 million) in total, Christie’s and Mr Allen’s estate said.

The works to be auctioned span 500 years of art history from Old Masters to the giants of modern art, Christie’s said, adding that all proceeds will go to philanthropy.

Mr Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2018.

In his lifetime he gave more than two billion dollars (£1.68 billion) to causes including ocean health, homelessness and advancing scientific research.

Highlights of the upcoming sale include Paul Cezanne’s La Montagne Sainte-Victoire, completed in 1890 and estimated to sell for more than 100 million dollars (£84 million), and Jasper Johns’ Small False Start from 1960, estimated at 50 million dollars (£42 million).

Other details of the artworks to be auctioned were not released.

Guillaume Cerutti, Christie’s chief executive, said in a statement: “The inspirational figure of Paul Allen, the extraordinary quality and diversity of works, and the dedication of all proceeds to philanthropy, create a unique combination that will make the sale of the Paul G Allen Collection an event of unprecedented magnitude.”

Jody Allen, Mr Allen’s sister and the executor of his estate, said: “These works mean so much to so many, and I know that Christie’s will ensure their respectful dispersal to generate tremendous value for philanthropic pursuits in accordance with Paul’s wishes.”

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