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Sotheby's to auction painting by Churchill

A painting by Winston Churchill, which President Truman called one of his "most valued possessions" after receiving it as a gift from the British prime minister in 1951, will be sold at Sotheby's, the auction house said Saturday.

Churchill, a respected amateur artist, painted "Marrakech" in about 1948 during one of his frequent trips to Morocco. It shows one of the city's gates against the backdrop of the Atlas mountains.

In a note accompanying the gift, Churchill described the painting, now valued at up to $1.03 million, as "about as presentable as anything I can produce."

Truman wrote in response: "I shall treasure the picture as long as I live and it will be one of the most valued possessions I will be able to leave to (daughter) Margaret when I pass on."

The painting has remained in Truman's family since he died in 1972, and is being sold by his daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel. It will be auctioned Dec. 13 at Sotheby's in London.