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Casablanca poster sells for £364k

Pay it again, Sam: The only Italian copy PIC: SWNS

THE only surviving poster of its kind for the classic film Casablanca has sold for a record £364,000.

It was one of about 2,000 printed for Italian cinemas when the movie was screened in the country in 1946.

Commissioned by Warner Bros, artist Luigi Martinati’s ‘beautiful’ design depicts Ingrid Bergman snuggling up to Humphrey Bogart.

It had an estimate of £280,000 but fetched £363,968 including fees — making it the most expensive poster ever for the ‘ultimate’ romantic film.

‘Italy didn’t show Casablanca originally as it was a fascist state and not interested in American films,’ said Grey Smith, director of vintage posters at US auctioneers Heritage.

‘It was released after the war which is when this poster was produced and is the only copy.’

He said Martinati’s posters ‘put the US to shame’, adding: ‘The European artists were much more creative in their use of colours.’ It was sold by an unnamed European collector. The record price for a film poster is £400,000 which was paid for 1927 sci-fi epic Metropolis.