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An auction house employee poses for the photographers looking at a 1921 painting by Fernand Leger, entitled: 'Trois femmes a la table rouge' at an exhibition in central London, Friday, April 12, 2013. The piece will be offered in auction at Sotheby's auction house Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Art sales in New York, on May, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) Copyright 2013, The Associated Press

Madonna's French painting sells in NYC for $7.2M

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NEW YORK (AP) — A French painting owned by Madonna has sold at a New York City auction for more than $7 million.

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Sotheby's auction house hasn't said who bought Fernand Leger's (lay-ZHAYZ') "Three Women at the Red Table" for $7.2 million on Tuesday. The abstract work had a pre-sale estimate of $5 million to $7 million.

Proceeds of the sale will benefit the Ray of Light Foundation, which supports girls' education in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.

Madonna says she wanted to "trade something valuable for something invaluable" in countries where female education is rare or nonexistent. She bought the work at Sotheby's in 1990 for $3.4 million.

Leger created the work in 1921 as part of a series depicting women with still-life compositions.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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