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Gauguin’s Tahiti painting on display
  11th Jul 2015

French post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin's Nafea faa ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) painting, reportedly the most expensive painting ever sold, went on display at Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum last week. The 1892 oil painting of two Tahitian girls was sold earlier this year by the Rudolf Staechelin Family Trust. The New York Times, citing art world sources, said a Qatari buyer had paid around $300 million for the work. Paul Cezanne's The Card Players was previously ranked as the most expensive painting ever sold, with a reported price tag of $250 million.

Fancy makeover for Euro sculpture

The euro may be facing an existential crisis but the giant 14-metre sculpture of the euro symbol that towers over downtown Frankfurt, home of the European Central Bank, was still getting its biggest makeover in 13 years on Monday. Considered an eyesore by many Frankfurters, the run-down blue and gold structure situated in front of the ECB's former headquarters was dismantled by construction workers, who plan to fix it up from years of wear and tear, including attacks by protesters. The common currency's best known symbol will get fashionable LED lighting and new panels at a cost of up to €60,000, financed completely by donations.

Restored Spitfire to be auctioned soon

A restored World War Two Spitfire which was shot down over northern France in 1940 is expected to raise about $3 million for charity when it goes up for auction in London next week. The wreckage of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A was recovered in 1980 from a beach at Calais, France. It had crash-landed there after it was shot down on 24 May, 1940, during the evacuation of Dunkirk and over the years was washed over by tides, sinking deeper into the sands, auctioneer Christie's said.

First paint mixture was made in Africa

Around 49,000 years ago, someone in what is today South Africa mixed milk with ochre to produce a paint mixture. What the paint was used for remains unknown. But what is startling is that it was made earlier than the first previously know use of the paint: 47,000 years ago. The mixture was preserved on a small stone flake excavated by Lyn Wadley, of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Johannesburg. "Our analyses show that this ochre-based mixture was a paint medium that could have been applied to a surface or to human skin," Wadley and a group of co-authors wrote in a paper just published in the academic journal Plos One.

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