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Britain has agreed to buy--at virtually half-price--the John Constable masterpiece "Stratford Mill," in lieu of death duties, Arts Minister Richard Luce said Thursday. The painting, valued at $16 million, is one of only two works by the 19th-Century artist still in private hands. It will go to the National Gallery in London. Luce said the painting would be acquired for $8.8 million, with the balance of the painting's value writing off the unidentified late owner's death duties.

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