WORLD : Japanese Was Van Gogh Buyer

From Times Wire Services

A newspaper today identified the buyer of Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” as the honorary chairman of a major Japanese paper company and quoted him as saying he spent $33 million more than he intended.

“I am extremely pleased with the purchase,” the 74-year-old businessman, Ryoei Saito, told Nihon Keizai, an economic newspaper.

A representative of the Kobayashi Gallery of Tokyo paid $82.5 million for the world’s most expensive painting at a Christie’s auction in New York on Tuesday but refused to identify its client.

Saito told the newspaper: “I have been collecting paintings for 40 years, but I wanted to own this Van Gogh painting. Therefore, I asked to make a successful bid no matter how expensive it was.”