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Vol 49 No 14

Published 4th July 2008

Côte d'Ivoire

Ivorian auction

The wealth of Côte d'Ivoire's defunct founding father, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, was on display at an auction in the historic French town of Fontainebleau on 29 June. The sale of exquisite, prized pieces of furniture, art works and tapestries from his former Parisian pied-à-terre, the historic Hôtel de Masseran in the upmarket Seventh Arrondissement, fetched 7.5 million euros. The collection included Pierre-Auguste Renoir's bucolic 'Femme au fagot' (not seen in public since 1965) and solid gold rams with emerald eyes. Rams are the symbol of Houphouët-Boigny's family, Boigny meaning 'ram' in his Baoulé language.

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