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Robert Rauschenberg

Pinault sells Rauschenberg to MoMA for $30 million

French billionaire has recently sold works by Rothko, Warhol and Mondrian

The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) has confirmed that it has purchased Robert Rauschenberg’s three-panel 11-foot long Rebus, 1955 (detail, right), for around $30 million (E24.7 million) from French billionaire François Pinault.

The sale of the work, a mixture of collage, painting, graffiti and photography, has been arranged privately through Mr Pinault’s auction house Christie’s.

Although the price for the work has not been disclosed, a report in The New York Times put this at $30 million.

Previous owners of the work include Hans Thulin, a Swedish real estate developer, and UK collector Charles Saatchi who sold the painting to Mr Pinault in 1992.

The full extent of Mr Pinault’s collection is known to only a couple of dealers. However, the French billionaire is known to have sold works by Rothko, Warhol and Mondrian at auction in recent years. Rebus will go on show in the painting and sculpture galleries on the fourth floor of MoMA.