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French icon Alain Delon to auction art collection

More than 80 artworks from the private collection of iconic French actor Alain Delon will go up for auction in June, it was announced on Tuesday. 

Delon, 87, became one of the embodiments of French style in the 1960s with roles in classic films such as “La Piscine”, “The Leopard” and “The Samurai”.

His art collection is valued at 4 to 5 million euros and includes classic works by the likes of Delacroix and Veronesi. 

They will be shown in New York, Hong Kong, Geneva, London and Paris before going up for auction on June 22.

“I bought my first drawing in 1964 precisely, in London. Over the years, I acquired more drawings, portraits and sculptures that moved me, spoke to me, and even occasionally consoled me,” the actor said in the catalogue for auctioneers Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris.

“These works have accompanied me through many years and have been part of my life.”

Among the pieces are an oil painting by Raoul Dufy, worth between 600,000 and 800,000 euros, and a Delacroix portrait, from 1825, worth up to 600,000 euros (around $650,000).

Delon sold off a large collection of contemporary paintings in 2007, saying that he hated the idea of posthumous sales. 

“Some people buy cars, some people go to whores — I prefer portraits,” he said at the time. “I bought for passion, never for investment.”

He has also been shedding other parts of his estate in recent years, selling his collections of wine, watches and weapons in 2016. 

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