‘African Mona Lisa’ smashes estimates at London auction

A long-lost portrait of a Nigerian princess dubbed the "African Mona Lisa" sold at auction in London on Wednesday for £1.2 million (1.4 million euros, $1.7 million), exceeding estimates and setting a record for the artist. The 1974 painting of Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu, was expected to fetch up to £300,000 (339,000 euros, $414,000) when it went under the hammer at Bonhams auction house. It described the painting of an Ife royal princess which recently turned up in a London flat after not being seen in decades as "rare and remarkable". "The portrait of Tutu is a national icon in Nigeria, and of huge cultural significance," said Giles Peppiatt, Bonham's director of modern african art. He uncovered the work after a family in north London contacted him following lucrative recent sales of Nigerian artworks at auction. Peppiatt added the family were "pretty astounded" to learn it was "a missing masterpiece". "It is very exciting to have played a part in the

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