The bidding began at $100 million.

A poster of Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” painting hung in Christie auction house as their auctioneer fielded bids from across the crowded room for the cubist masterpiece. 

Suddenly the price leapt to $110 million, then $120 million, soon it surpassed it’s $140 million estimate.

When the biding reached $145 million minutes later, the painting was already sitting pretty as the most expensive piece ever sold at auction.

But the biding did not end there. Reportedly the room grew quiet as the two remaining bidders duelled by telephone.

“At $160 million dollars ladies and gentlemen, fair warning,” the auctioneer said before one final pause. “It’s yours!”

While the purchaser of the Picasso’s masterpiece will remain anonymous, critics warn we will all pay the price for such extravagant, luxury private auctions.

With such exorbitant prices, the fear is that public museums won’t be able to keep up with soaring prices for priceless artworks.

Now this historical work of art, “Women of Algiers”, could disappear to a private mansion den, or even worse, which is often the case, a climate-controlled, tax-exempt airport warehouse until it has appreciated sufficiently in value.

Take a look in pictures at some of the other luxury items recently fetching millions of dollars at auction houses across the world. Could you afford them?

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