Yves Saint Laurent's art collection in 'auction of the century'

The art collection of Yves Saint Laurent, who died last month, is to be auctioned off in what experts are describing as "the sale of the century" potentially worth half a billion euros.

By Henry Samuel in Paris

It is set to be the biggest single-owner art auction in history, and includes paintings by Goya, Ingres, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso, De Chirico and Andy Warhol.
The previous record of £104 million was set at Christies in 1998 for works owned by Victor and Sally Ganz. Many of the art on sale inspired Mr Saint Laurent's haute couture designs.
The glittering hoard, which also includes ancient Roman works, Renaissance bronzes, art deco furniture and silver, and Limoges enamels, is being sold by Mr Saint Laurent's long-time business partner and companion, Pierre Bergé.
The pair amassed the works together for their two Parisian apartments from 1972 until Mr Saint Laurent's death.
"I don't trust the afterlife", Mr Bergé told yesterday's Le Figaro newspaper.
"I preferred to organise everything while still alive, which Yves perhaps wouldn't have done. I could only do this sale after his death. The page is turned", he said.
The auction will be held by Christie's Paris at the Grand Palais next February.
It will be held in association with Mr Bergé's own auction house, Pierre Bergé & Associates. Proceeds will go to the Paris foundation the pair set up to preserve the Mr Saint Laurent's work.
The sale will be a litmus test for the world art market, which has seen prices spiral upwards over the past three years.
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