A sale of artworks belonging to French actor Gerard Depardieu brought in some four million euros, Paris auction house Ader said Wednesday. Depardieu, who is currently embroiled in a number of sexual assault allegations that he denies, was not present for the sale. More than 95 percent of the 250-plus lots were sold, the auction house said, including a statue by Auguste Rodin whom Depardieu portrayed in a 1988 film.

At the last minute, Depardieu decided not to part with a hulking lifesize statue by Germaine Richier that was the highlight of the sale, and which the sellers admitted bore some resemblance to the 74-year-old actor. But there were major works by Alexander Calder and Ossip Zadkine and smaller pieces by masters like Pablo Picasso and David Hockney, which drew thousands of visitors during the three-day presentation at the Hotel Drouot in Paris.

"This collection is a great surprise due to the importance of the pieces Gerard Depardieu assembled during more than 40 years," said auctioneer David Nordmann. They previously said he was keen to off-load some of his huge art collection to simplify his holdings. Asked if there was anything else that the auctioneers wanted to sell from his collection, one said: "We fantasise about the Gerard Depardieu wine cellar -- you can't even imagine!"—AFP