€265m Gauguin becomes most expensive work of art in history
A Paul Gauguin painting of two Tahitian girls has smashed the record for the world's most expensive single work of art, after Qatar bought the canvas from a Swiss collector for almost $300m (£265m).
The 1892 oil painting by the French post-impressionist called Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) was sold by the private collector Rudolf Staechelin, a retired Sotheby's executive from Basel.
Mr Staechelin (62) declined to name the buyer but it was thought to be the Qatar Museums. The Gulf nation had set the previous record in 2011 when it paid $259m for The Card Players by Paul Cezanne.
The painting had been hanging in Basel's Kunstmuseum (art museum) on loan for more than 60 years, but was sold after Mr Steachelin apparently fell out with the institution, withdrawing all his works.
Gauguin painted the work during his first visit to Tahiti, aged 43-44, where he travelled to escape "everything that is artificial and conventional" in Europe. He returned to Polynesia in 1895, where he remained until his death from an overdose of morphine at 54 in 1903.