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Online Warhol auction raises $2.3 million

'Self-Portrait', a polaroid print by Andy Warhol, displayed during a preview on February 21, 2013
"Self-Portrait", a polaroid print by Andy Warhol, displayed during a preview on February 21, 2013 at Christie's in New York. A week-long Internet sale of Warhol's lesser, but often hitherto unavailable works, ended Tuesday.

An online-only auction of a trove of Andy Warhol's lesser, but often hitherto unavailable works, raised $2.3 million at Christie's, with a lithograph of Marilyn Monroe's lips coming out on top.

The 1964 "I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever," featuring five different-colored sets of the screen siren's lips, led the auction results at $90,000.

The week-long Internet sale, which ended Tuesday, more than doubled its pre-sale estimate for the 125 works offered, with bargain prices attracting 263 bidders and 1,500 bids from 36 countries, Christie's said.

It was the first of several online-only auctions of the Pop Art icon's work scheduled for 2013.

Some of the works on offer were estimated before the sale to go for as little as $600. Proceeds go to The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which supports artists and non-profit art associations.

The results were worthy of "Warhol's democratizing vision" said Michael Straus, chairman of the foundation board.

The Warhol Foundation announced last year that it was dispersing its collection through Christie's to raise more money for grants. Some of the works will be donated to museums.

The inaugural auction in the series, a live event held at Christie's in New York on November 12, raised $17 million.

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