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Painting by British artist sells for £665,000 to help Syrian refugees

A 235-year-old painting has been sold for £665,000 with the proceeds going to help Syrian refugees.

'A Grotto in the Gulf of Salerno With The figure Of Julia, Banished From Rome' by British artist Joseph Wright had been in the same family since 1840. It was donated to the Christian charity Us to support its aid efforts.

'A Grotto in the Gulf of Salerno With The figure Of Julia, Banished From Rome' by British artist Joseph Wright Credit: Lauren Hurley / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The painting, which shows a cavern in the Gulf of Salerno near Naples, was donated by the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Godfrey Meynell.

Its guide price when it went under the hammer at Sotheby's yesterday was £150,000, but it eventually sold for more than four times that.

The charity's director for fundraising and communications, Reverend Tim Harford said: "The proceeds will help to restore the lives of refugees who are arriving in Greece having fled persecution and war.

"Clearly, the plight of the refugees has struck a chord with the donor of this extraordinary gift."