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China receives US$1 bil. worth of art from France

BEIJING -- The last of 10 artistic masterpieces from France arrived under heavy security in China on Thursday, for a show featuring a billion dollars' worth of art.

The exhibition at Beijing's National Museum will include Auguste Renoir's masterpiece “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette,” normally kept at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Among the other renowned canvases in the ten-picture show are Pablo Picasso's “Matador” and Hyacinthe Rigaud's full-length portrait of king Louis XIV, from the Palace of Versailles.

French officials gave varying estimates of their total insurance value, from 700-800 million euros (US$960 million-$1.1 billion) to several billion euros.

The works will go on display at the museum on Tiananmen Square for nine weeks starting from next week.

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