JERUSALEM — A painting by Italian Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani sold at auction in Jerusalem for $8.6 million, despite not actually being in the country.
"Portrait de Anne Bjarne," the 1919 oil painting that sold on Tuesday, is believed to be the most expensive piece of art ever sold in Israel. A painting by Camille Pissarro sold in Israel for $1.2 million.
The Modigliani work, from the private collection of Israeli businessman and millionaire Meshulam Riklis, was sold by the Matsart gallery and auction house.
It remained in New York in order to avoid the 18 percent value added tax on the sale in Israel. Bidders were able to view the artwork in photographs, however.