The Israel Museum is selling 39 works of art from its permanent collection in order to raise money to purchase new installations, the museum announced on Sunday.
The paintings being sold include a Renoir (estimated $1 million), a Picasso (estimated $800,000), one of Marc Chagall's circus pictures (estimated $2.5 million), a Paris landscape from Camille Pissarro (estimated $2.5 million) and René Magritte’s surrealist still life of an apple (estimated $3.5 million), according to Sotheby's, the auction house overseeing the sales.
The top six items could bring the museum as much as $11.6 million, if all of the artworks are auctioned at their top estimated price. The deascension, or selling process, is part of the musuem's three-year renewal project, that included an inventory of the museum's 500,000 items.
"In an effort to refine and strengthen these holdings, the Museum is implementing a carefully focused de-accessioning plan," said museum director James Snyder in a statement. "This plan will eliminate redundancies and generate funds for the targeted acquisition of works that will enrich the collections and their presentation in the galleries, by amplifying focal points and filling gaps where they exist."