An anonymous donor gave 'Jeune fille endormie' to the University of Sydney on the condition that it be sold to support science.

Millions of pounds raised by the sale of a little-known Picasso masterpiece are to fund medical research into obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The portrait of the artist's lover, Marie-Therese Walter, fetched £13.5m when it went under the hammer on Tuesday at Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art auction in London.

The 1935 work, “Jeune fille endormie”, was given to the University of Sydney last year by an anonymous US donor on the condition that it be sold to support scientific research at the university.

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