Auction of Communist Art Helps Red Sludge Victims

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BUDAPEST (AP).- An auction of relics and artworks from Hungary’s communist era was held Monday to raise funds for the victims of October’s flood of toxic red sludge that killed 10 people and left hundreds injured and homeless. The sale at the Pinter Gallery in Budapest included around two dozen eerily similar portraits of Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin, busts of Bulgarian communist leader Georgi Dimitrov, as well as paintings and drawings in the Socialist realism style exalting physical labor and the supposed friendship between Hungary and the Soviet Union. The items going under the auctioneer’s gavel were found in ministries and state warehouses, where many had been stored for decades. Fetching the highest bids was a 1957 oil on canvas titled “He Told Us Everything As It Was” by Iraqi artist Kadhim Haydar, which sold for 1.6 million forints (euro5,700, $7,600). A photograph of Matyas Rakosi, who was removed as Hungary’s Stalinist-type ruler just months before the 1956 anti-Sovi