Stalin's death mask sells for $5,600

Jan. 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

SHROPSHIRE, England, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- One of several copies of the death mask of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was sold for $5,600 Tuesday at British auction house Mullock's.

The buyer was not named and was not present at the auction, RIA Novosti reported.

The original death mask was taken just after the former dictator's death in 1953 and is on display at the Stalin Museum in his hometown of Gori, Georgia. Two copies of the mask were taken to Western Europe in 1990 by art dealer James Birch, RIA Novosti said.

Stalin died at the age of 74, having ruled the Soviet Union for more than two decades. His official cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage, but some speculate he was poisoned by his associates.

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