Rich Russian said to be buyer

From the Associated Press

Two days, two modern art masterpieces, two record-breaking auction prices -- and one buyer: Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

A respected art publication says London-based Abramovich was the anonymous buyer of Francis Bacon's "Triptych" and Lucian Freud's "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping," which sold at separate New York auctions last week for a total of $120 million.

Abramovich represents a new breed of super-rich collector from emerging economies -- such as China, the Middle East and, especially, Russia -- that is buoying the art market through tough economic times.

The Art Newspaper cited sources close to the market as confirming that Abramovich, a former oil magnate, had bought both paintings.

Sotheby's, which sold the Bacon work; and Christie's, which auctioned the Freud, refused to provide details about the buyers. A spokesman for Abramovich declined to comment.

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