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Divorce Triggers `Battle Royal' for Billionaire's Art Collection

  • Collection of Harry and Linda Macklowe is worth $700 million
  • Christie’s, Sotheby’s and top dealers are expected to compete
"Sixteen Jackies" by Andy Warhol for sale at Christie’s in 2006.
"Sixteen Jackies" by Andy Warhol for sale at Christie’s in 2006.Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The world’s biggest auction houses are girding for a fight over a $700 million art trove that a judge ordered to be sold to help resolve the divorce of billionaire developer Harry Macklowe and his estranged wife Linda.

“This is going to be a battle royal,” said Alex Rotter, a chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, whose executives planned to gather Friday to discuss the implications of the court order. “The game is on.”