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Under the hammer: record art auctions

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Christie's in New York fetched nearly half a billion dollars (385 million euros) on Wednesday at an auction of contemporary art, in what was a record haul.

The amount raised passed the February 2009 auction of the 700-item art collection of the late Yves Saint Laurent and his longtime partner Pierre Berge which netted 342 million euros.

Sales of works by Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein contributed to the New York haul.

A Pollock drip painting which sold for a record $58.4 million set a new record for the artist, even though some of his canvases are reported to have changed hands for far more in private transactions.

Below is a list of the 15 most expensive art works ever sold at an auction.

Unless stated otherwise, all works quoted are paintings.

1. Edvard Munch's "The Scream," sells for $119.9 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2012.

2. Pablo Picasso's "Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur" ("Nude, Green Leaves and Bust") for $106.4 million at Christie's in New York in 2010.

3. Alberto Giacometti's sculpture "Walking Man I" for $104.3 million at Sotheby's in London in 2010.

4. Picasso's "Boy with a Pipe" sells for $104.2 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2004.

5. Picasso's "Dora Maar with Cat" for $95.2 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2006.

6. Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II" for $87.9 million at Christie's in New York in 2006.

7. Francis Bacon's "Triptych 1976" sells for $86.2 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2008.

8. Vincent Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sells for $82.5 million at Christie's in New York in 1990.

9. Claude Monet's "Le Bassin aux Nympheas" for $80.3 million at Christie's in London in 2008.

10. Auguste Renoir's "Au moulin de la galette" for $78.1 million at Sotheby's in New York in 1990.

11. Peter Paul Rubens, "Massacre of the Innocents" for $76.7 million at Sotheby's in London in 2002.

12. Mark Rothko canvas "No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)" goes for $75.1 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2012.

13. Rothko's "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" for $72.8 million at Sotheby's in New York in 2007.

14. Andy Warhol's "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)" for $71.7 million at Christie's in New York in 2007.

15. Van Gogh's "Portrait of the Artist Without His Beard" for $71.5 million at Christie's in New York in 1998.

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