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Titian canvas at heart of public appeal goes on display in London

A vibrant, 16th century Titian canvas has been placed on prominent display at the National Gallery in London, in attempt to boost the current fundraising campaign to keep the valuable painting in the U.K.

A vibrant, 16th-century Titian canvas has been placed on prominent display at the National Gallery in London, in attempt to boost the current fundraising campaign to keep the valuable painting in the U.K.

Just weeks remain for the National Gallery and its counterpart in Scotland to jointly raise about $97.6 million needed to purchase Diana and Actaeon from the Duke of Sutherland.

The Art Fund, a U.K. charity that buys art for display to the British public, has pledged about $1.9 million to the fundraising campaign. Organizers have kept the total monetary amount raised so far under wraps.

Earlier this year, the Duke of Sutherland indicated his intention to sell two Titians from his collection, Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto — both from a mythological series that the Renaissance master created for King Philip II of Spain in the mid-16th century.

Both paintings have been displayed at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Though Diana and Actaeon is worth an estimated $275 million on the open market, the Duke indicated in August that he would give the British and Scottish National Galleries first crack at both paintings for a fraction of that price.

If the campaign is able to raise the $ 97.6 million for Diana and Actaeon by New Year's Eve, the Duke said he would make Diana and Callisto available to the museums for the same price in 2012.

London's National Gallery has mounted Diana and Actaeon next to Titian's sequel: The Death of Actaeon, which officials acquired thanks to a successful public fundraising appeal in 1972.

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