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An original work by French painter Monet together with a rare self-portrait of the late Chinese visual artist Chen Yifei are under heavy guard around the clock in a Shanghai villa.

A visitor admires Monet's "Yellow Iris" and the self-portrait of late Chinese painter Chen Yifei, to be auctioned in January.

Visitors can see them at a new gallery opened by Shanghai Sun Artcurial Art Consulting Co Ltd, a joint venture between Beijing-based Sun Media Investment and French auction house Artcurial on downtown Yongjia Road. The paintings are moved into the new gallery until they are auctioned in January.

"Yellow Iris," by the French impressionist painter Monet, is worth an estimated 10 million yuan (US$1.32 million) while the auctioneer revealed their expectation for Chen Yifei's work, "Artist and the Beauties," to be about 15 million yuan.

The celebrated Chinese artist died suddenly in 2005 at the age of 59. The painting to be auctioned is one of the very few works by Chen containing a self-portrait.

(Shanghai Daily September 11, 2007)

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