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Sept. 19, 2011

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Ireland’s “bad bank,” the National Asset Management Agency, is set to auction 14 works from the art collection of bankrupt Irish real-estate developer Derek Quinlan later this year. The state-run debt agency has already sold several homes owned by Quinlan, who once controlled London luxury hotels The Savoy, Claridge’s and The Connaught, but is going ahead with its first-ever art sale because he has yet to demonstrate how he will pay back the rest of what he owes.

The first part of the sale, at Christie’s New York on Nov. 9, 2011, features Andy Warhol’s Dollar Sign (est. $400,000-$600,000) and Alex Katz’s Ace Airport (est. $150,000-$200,000). On Nov. 17, 2011, at Christie’s London, another 11 works by Irish artists hit the block, including Paul Henry, Louis Le Brocquy, William Scott and Jack Butler Yeats. Christie’s expects the sale to bring in a total of $2.4 million to $3.1 million. Not bad -- but the Irish agency’s still out about $42.7 billion in unpaid loans.

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