Cigarette factory’s art collection up for sale

The sale of the first four paintings in a major modern art collection owned by British American Tobacco is due to start on Saturday.

The 1,500 works, including 150 internationally prized pieces, are believed to be worth between €15m and €25m. The art collection belongs British American Tobacco and was started in the late 1950s by Alexander Orlow who was director of the company’s Dutch cigarette factory.

The first four pieces will be auctioned in Hong Kong, including a painting by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang that is expected to fetch up to €2.5m. But the largest part of the collection will probably come under the hammer in Amsterdam at the end of this year.


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