April 26, 2011 / 11:13 PM / in 6 years

University of Sydney offers Picasso worth $16 million

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LONDON (Reuters) - Christie's said on Wednesday that it would offer a Pablo Picasso portrait of his lover Marie-Therese Walter at auction in June on behalf of the University of Sydney.

"Jeune fille endormie," estimated to be worth 9-12 million pounds, was given to the university by an anonymous donor on condition that it was sold and that the proceeds were spent on scientific research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The painting was executed in 1935, and is one of several portraits of the same subject by Picasso. It will go under the hammer in London on June 21 at the impressionist and modern art evening sale.

Last year, Christie's in New York sold another Marie-Therese portrait titled "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" for $106.5 million, a world auction record for any work of art.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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