NEW YORK, NY.-A nude photograph of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Frances First Lady, that caused furors during the model-turned-singers state visit to the UK last month, sold at auction for $91,000 (£45,000.) The photo fetched almost 20 times its high estimate, at Christie's International in New York on Friday.
The 1993 glamour shot of Bruni by photographer Michel Comte was initially expected to draw $3,000. The Bruni-Sarkozy photo was hotly contested by bidders over the phone, via the internet and in Christie's auction hall - but was finally won by an anonymous Chinese investor.
The photograph, which measures 32.5 cm by 22.5 cm, was sold by German-born collector Gert Elfering and was acquired from the artist directly.
Prices for photos of the former model turned singer have significantly increased since French President Nicolas Sarkozy, 53, and Bruni, 40, tied the knot at a private ceremony at the Elysee Palace on February 2, 2008, less than four months after divorcing his second wife Cecilia.