Updated: Mar 29, 2020
By Alex Stuart
After being confronted with 500 rediscovered sketches that veteran German artist Gerhard Richter allegedly drew before defecting from East to West Germany in 1961, he told the German Press Agency that “half of it is junk and should be burnt”. The portfolio is attributed Richter’s days as an art student in East Germany in the 1950s, a period from which nearly all of his works were thought to have been lost. The asking price of the collection is rumoured to be £100 million. Richter, having fled to the West in 1961, weeks before the rise of the Berlin Wall, is one of the wealthiest artists in the world, with an estimated fortune of £585 million. In 2015 his painting Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting) was sold in London for £30.4 million, breaking his own record for the most expensive work by a living artist.