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Painting breaks US art record with £85m sale

An artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for a record $110.5 million. Credit: AP

A painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat has sold for a record breaking $110.5 million (£85.3 million) - 29 years after he died.

The artwork, which depicts a face in the shape of a skull, was sold at auction in Sotheby's in New York.

It had previously been bought at auction in 1984 for $19,000 dollars (£14,600).

The auction house said the sale of "Untitled" set a record price for an American artist at auction.

Jean-Michel Basquiat with Andy Warhol, New York, 1985. Credit: AP

The piece was purchased by noted Japanese collector and entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

"When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art," said Maezawa. He plans to display it in his museum in Chiba, Japan after loaning it to institutions and exhibitions around the world.

"Untitled" was virtually unknown before it was unveiled at Sotheby's weeks ago. The auction house said it remained in the same private collection since it was bought at auction in 1984 for

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when "Untitled, 1982" sold for 57.3 million (£44.2 million), also to Maezawa.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.