Controversial 'Leonardo' painting goes on sale in New York

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A controversial painting linked to Leonardo da Vinci is expected to fetch more than £300,000 when it is auctioned 90 years after it prompted one of the 20th century's most feverish debates over a picture's authenticity.

Arguments over the origins of Portrait of a Woman Called La Belle 3 have raged since 1920 when it was given as a wedding gift to a car salesman in Kansas City, Missouri, by a family friend who said it was by Leonardo.

Sotheby's, which is selling the painting in New York later this month, believes the painting is not by him and, unable to say exactly who did paint it, is basing its estimate of $300,000 to $500,000 partly on the portrait's notoriety.

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