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Charlotte's ties to Swiss artist whose sculpture broke auction record

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100204a.mp3

Charlotte's new Museum of Modern art has close ties to an artist whose sculpture this week broke the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. WFAE's Julie Rose has the story of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. It took less than 8 minutes for an anonymous bidder to buy Alberto Giacometti's life-sized sculpture of a walking man for record-breaking $104.3 million in a Sotheby's auction. It took a life time for the Bechtler family to accumulate its collection of Giacometti paintings, sculpture, drawings and jewelry on display at the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte. "Giacometti came often to visit. He often came by train, stopped over in Zurich and we would meet," says Andreas Bechtler. Alberto Giacometti was a close family friend, like many of the influential European artists whose work adorned the Bechtler home. None of the family's Giacometti sculptures now on display in Charlotte is as large as the one that broke auction records this week. But Bechtler remembers his parents negotiating over one of the artist's most significant works in their collection. His father wanted to buy Giacometti's famous dog sculpture. His mother wanted one of a sitting woman called "Annette." "So my father said 'Okay, of course, let's go take Annette,'" recalls Bechtler. "And later on they regretted that they didn't buy both." Andreas Bechtler has donated his half of the family art collection to the city of Charlotte. It's valued at more than $60 million.