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Billionaire buys Rostropovich art

September 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

An art collection belonging to the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich has been sold to a Russian billionaire for substantially more than $40 million, Sotheby's auction house said Monday.

Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia's richest men, said he bought the trove of Russian artworks in order to return them to their homeland.

Usmanov, who recently bought a nearly 15% stake in London's Arsenal soccer team for $150 million, said he intends to hand the collection over to the state.

An auction of the collection, scheduled for today and Wednesday in London, was canceled.

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