An iconic 1964 silk-screen portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, the pop artist, has been auctioned for $195 million (£158.17m) — making it the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever sold at a public auction.

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The portrait was auctioned and purchased at ‘The Christie’s Auction’ in New York on Monday.

‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,’ as the portrait is called, has now beaten the previous record set in 2015 when a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso – ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)’ – sold for $179.4 million.

Before the auction, it was revealed that the Monroe painting was “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence.”

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‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ is one in a series of portraits Warhol made of Monroe after her death in 1962. It has also become one of pop art’s best-known pieces.

Warhol died in 1987.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop,” Alex Rotter, chairman of 20th and 21st-century art at Christie’s, said.

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“The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, superseding 20th century art and culture.”

The painting is said to have been purchased by Larry Gagosian, the US art dealer and owner of several chains of art galleries.

According to Christie’s, all the proceeds from the sale would go to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation— a Switzerland-based foundation that helps establish education and healthcare programs for children all over the world.

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