Chinese tycoon coughs up $170 million for Modigliani!

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Chinese tycoon coughs up $170 million for Modigliani!


: A taxi driver turned financier, Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian, has stunned the art world with his record-setting purchases, the latest a famed Modigliani nude costing more than $170 million.

"Nu Couche", or "Reclining Nude", painted by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani in 1917-18, sold to Liu after a frantic nine-minute bidding war at a Christie's auction in New York on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Liu said the Modigliani would be displayed at his Long Museum Pudong in 2017 to mark its fifth anniversary. Largely unknown outside his native China and rarefied art circles, 51-year-old Liu has made a string of purchases for his two museums in China's commercial hub Shanghai.

With personal wealth of $1.38 billion according to Forbes magazine, Liu is among the ranks of the new Chinese super-rich. In one of his most high-profile acquisitions, Liu set a record for Chinese porcelain last year by paying just over $36 million for a tiny Ming Dynasty cup with a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks.