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Bidding Contest Pushes Venice Painting to Record $42.7 Million

A view of Venice’s Grand Canal by Francesco Guardi sold last night for $42.7 million, the second-highest price paid at auction for an Old Master painting, as buyers selected only the best historic works.

The Guardi artist-record value of 26.7 million pounds at Sotheby’s contributed more than half of the evening’s total of 47.6 million pounds from 73 lots, of which 31.5 percent were unsold.