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Sotheby's to auction art from Gianni Versace's former mansion

Versace mansion
Designer Gianni Versace was gunned down in July 1997 in front of his Miami Beach mansion, Casa Casuarina  

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Art and furnishings from the Miami palazzo where fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot and killed will be auctioned in April by Sotheby's Holdings Inc., the auction house said Thursday.

The collection -- estimated to be worth between $5 million and $7 million -- includes works of art such as "The Death of Cenchirias, Son of Neptune" by 19th century French painter Sophie Rude, which had been displayed in the designer's bedroom.

Among the furnishings are a pair of Venetian rococo-style mirrors, a Charles X imitation gold console and pieces designed by Versace himself.

The collection will be on exhibition March 30-April 5, and will be sold April 5, 6 and 7, Sotheby's said.

The designer was gunned down outside the Miami Beach Art Deco District mansion, Casa Casuarina, in July 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, who was linked to a string of murders in the United States.

The house, which still draws onlookers who sometimes leave memorials to Versace, was sold in September 2000, prompting the auction, Versace family spokesman Lou Colasuonno said.

"He had a great eye and he had the means and he just collected brilliantly," Colasuonno said.

In December 1999, 25 Picassos owned by Versace, who had homes in New York, Milan and Lake Como as well as Miami, fetched almost $17.9 million in an auction at Sotheby's London.

Copyright 2001 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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