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Putin Portrait Sells for 200,000 Euros

An anonymous Russian businessman spent 200,000 euros ($269,000) on a pop-art portrait of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"Putin Couture," by Georgian-American neo-pop artist David Datuna, had been on sale at the Art Moscow festival, which ran from Sept. 21 to 25.

Stronger-than-expected interest among collectors doubled the original list price of 100,000 euros, said Vera Chernysh, spokeswoman for the Mironova Gallery, which represents Datuna in Europe, Interfax reported Friday.

Art critic Tatyana Mironova speculated that last week's announcement that Putin would run for president in the March election fueled the interest.

Chinese-American artist Alex Guofeng Cao worked with Datuna on the portrait.

Datuna's background — he became a permanent resident of the United States in 1999 — is a curious detail, given Putin's strained relations with Georgia and, at times, the United States.

Other works by Datuna are on display at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

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