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Canada  

Churchill painting for $87K

A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected.

Churchill painted the work during a visit to the area near Field, B.C., in 1929 in the years before he became prime minister.

The heavily damaged painting was initially listed on the Sotheby's of London auction site and was estimated to sell between C$11,000 and C$15,000. It sold for C$87,257.

"My family and I are obviously delighted at the sale price," owner Bill Murray wrote in an email to The Canadian Press from his home in Devon, England, Tuesday.

"Even in its damaged state, it is a wonderful painting and the link with Sir Winston's visit to your area in 1929, is just about unique."

The painting was a gift from Churchill to Murray's father, Sgt. Edmund Murray, who was his bodyguard from 1950 to 1965.

"Having read all the pre-sale reports in the Canadian media, I am not really surprised that this great painting attained such a high figure. Churchill paintings are much sought-after," Murray said.

"Had it not been damaged, it would have fetched a much higher price and perhaps ended up in a private collection in Russia or China, never to be seen again."

There's no official word on who bought the painting or where it will ultimately end up, but Murray said he has his suspicions.

"I am pretty sure that it will go to Canada, although Sotheby's are very discreet when it comes to letting out information about the buyer, even to the seller."



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