How much value should a work of art have?

Stories of how they fetch millions of dollars wouldn’t make sense to many.

How could one explain that a painting of nude lady by Amedeo Modigliani was sold $157 million about 56.5 billion naira at an action in New York on Monday?

The stunning nude paint is the largest produced by the Italian artist, Modigliani.

The painting was produced about 100 years ago and the masterpiece, which is named: “Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)” fetched the highest price in Sotheby’s history.

Modigliani follows Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso as the third highest-selling artist at auction. Monday’s sale failed to eclipse the $170.4 million paid for another Modigliani nude at Christie’s in 2015.

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Nearly 58 inches (147 centimeters) wide, the picture was the cover star of a recent retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

Modigliani reinvented the nude for the modern era, and when his series of paintings were first exhibited in 1917, they were considered so shocking that police closed the show in Paris.

Bidding was restrained, lasting three to four minutes and opening at $125 million before auctioneer Helena Newman brought the hammer down at $139 million. The final price includes a buyer’s premium.

The price chalks up a healthy profit for its seller, who acquired the picture in 2003 for $26.9 million.

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