The painting by British painter David Hockney sold by the Royal Opera House in London to survive the Covid-19 pandemic was auctioned on Thursday at 12.8 million pounds, or 14.2 million euros, in a sale auctioned at Christie's.
The painting, which depicts Sir David Webster, a former opera director between 1945 and 1970, was estimated at between £ 11 million and £ 18 million, or between € 12 million and € 20 million.
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The Royal Opera House in London announced in early October that it was forced to sell this painting dating from 1971 to overcome its economic difficulties encountered due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
As we face the greatest crisis in our history, the sale of the portrait of Sir David Webster by David Hockney is a vital part of our recovery strategy
," the current head of the institution said in a statement, Alex Beard.
Forced to close during confinement, cultural institutions in general have been hit hard in the portfolio by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 44,000 in the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe.
The Royal Opera House is no exception: its revenues have more than halved since the onset of the health crisis, even though the venue was able to reopen in June, with shows without spectators and only broadcast online.
Read also: Coronavirus: no return to normal in theaters before November in the United Kingdom
In addition to selling the painting, the famous London institution is counting on fundraising, cutting costs, layoffs and help from the government to get back on its feet.
In early July, the government promised the sector unprecedented aid of 1.57 billion pounds - 1.74 billion euros -, hailed as vital, but not sufficient.