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Warhol's Mao Portrait Going Up For Auction

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A painting of former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol will be auctioned in Hong Kong and it could go to a Chinese buyer.

Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. Warhol's famous portrait of Mao was created in 1973. It is based on a photo in Mao's Little Red Book and is one of the most famous images of the 20th Century.

The Mao portrait was sold in London for $9.4 million in 2014. The current owner, who has not been identified, has now put the silk-screen portrait for sale with Sotheby's in Hong Kong, the BBC reported.

The auction is expected on April 2 and a sale of the portrait is expected to fetch up to $15 million.

However, Warhol's portraits of Mao were excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai legs of an Asian tour to mark the artist's 25th death anniversary in 2012, citing "political sensitivity."

Mao, also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China.

A controversial figure, Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in modern world history. His supporters credit him with driving imperialism out of China and modernizing the country.

Art lovers in China, the biggest buyers of art in the world, are increasingly buying Western art.

by RTT Staff Writer

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