Picasso work Child With A Dove 'could leave UK'

Child With A Dove by Pablo Picasso Picasso painted the picture when he was around 19

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Picasso's painting Child with a Dove - which has been on public display in the UK since the 1970s - is to go on sale, amid fears it may leave the country.

The picture, which is privately owned by the Aberconway family in Wales, is thought to be worth around £50m ($79m).

One of the artist's earliest works - painted when he was around 19 - it can now be seen at Tate Britain as part of its current Picasso exhibition.

Auction house Christie's has confirmed it has been asked to find a buyer.

Arts Council England has also announced an intention of sale.

Picasso painted the portrait of a young child clutching a dove and standing next to a multi-coloured ball in Paris in 1901.

In the 70s, the painting was loaned out to the National Gallery in London and last year it went on display at the Courtauld Gallery.

However, it is thought to be unlikely that any UK gallery will be able to afford the estimated £50m price tag.

Last week, The National Gallery revealed it had spent most of its legacy reserves to to purchase Titian's Diana and Callisto from the Duke of Sutherland.

Along with its partners National Galleries of Scotland, it also saved sister piece Diana and Actaeon in 2009 and the two works will remain together in the UK.

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