Christie’s auction house has called off the sale of 85 paintings by Catalan Surrealist Joan Miro.
The decision followed uproar over whether the seller, the Portuguese government, should be putting them under the hammer.
Christie’s said in a statement that it cancelled the auction, which had been due to take place on Tuesday, due to “legal uncertainties” created by a dispute between politicians in Lisbon over the precious works.
The Miro collection is valued at more than €35 million. It came into Portuguese state hands in 2008 when failed bank BPN, which had owned the paintings, was nationalised.
A court rejected an injunction attempting to block the sale, but critics of the auction continue to argue that the collection should not leave Portugal.
An online petition to stop the Christie’s auction gathered more than 9,200 signatures.