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RUSSIAN TURN-OF-CENTURY PAINTINGS TO BE PUT UP FOR SALE AT SOTHEBY'S

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MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Sotheby's holds an important auction in New York tomorrow, with Russian classical paintings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries up for sale, Novye Izvestia daily reports.

At Christie's December 2004 auction in London, Ivan Aivazovsky's painting "St. Isaac's Cathedral on a Frosty Day" went off for as much as 1.125 million pounds (equivalent to about 2 million dollars).

Last February, Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg bought, through Sotheby's, the Forbes collection of Faberge eggs. In an unprecedented move, Sotheby's cancelled the auctioning session to sell him the entire collection at over 90 million dollars.

Alongside paintings, tomorrow's auction in NYC will also feature several decorative items, including Faberges.

Konstantin Makovsky's four-meter oil-on-canvas painting "The Judgement of Paris" may fetch a record-high price. It shows three ancient deities vying for the right to be called the premier beauty. This picture was exhibited at the World Expo in Paris in 1889, and earned Makovsky a gold medal and the Legion d'Honneur. The initial price is 1.1 million dollars. Sotheby's hopes to sell the canvas off at a double of that, thus breaking Aivazovsky's record.

The famous Russian seascapist will again be in the spotlight tomorrow. Seven of his paintings will be offered for sale at the New York auction.

There will also be a picture by Zinaida Serebryakova, one showing ballerina Vera Fokina. This work is expected to fetch at least thrice as much as the initial price, $300,000.

Even if Makovsky's painting isn't sold off, the proceeds of tomorrow's auction will be record-high.

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