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An art expert has spotted a painting valued at up to £1m, which was once sold to help fund Nelson Mandela’s legal defense, being used as a noticeboard in a London flat.

The painting, Arab in Black, a 1939 work by Irma Stern – regarded as South Africa’s leading artist, whose works have recently been soaring in value – was recognised by Hannah O’Leary, a specialist in South African art at Bonhams auction house, during a valuation visit to the flat.

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