A 15,000-year-old skeleton of a woolly mammoth has sold at auction for 548,000 euros, or $643,900, in the French city of Lyon.
Standing more than three metres high, the complete skeleton was bought by a Strasbourg-based construction company Soprema, who sells a coating product called Mammouth, or Mammoth in English.
The extinct giant of the Ice Age has two gleaming three-metre-long tusks that weigh a combined 160 kilograms, according to art expert Eric Mickeler.
“Here you have an exceptional specimen, first because of its size. It is a very big specimen,” said Mr Mickeler, a member of the European Chamber of Expert-Advisors in Fine Art.
It was estimated to be worth between 450,000 and 490,000 euros.
Auctioneer Claude Aguttes said the skeleton fetched a record price for mammoth skeletons, beating the last sale worth 315,000 euros in Paris 10 years ago
Mr Aguttes said Soprema’s representative was present during the auction, and said they would display the skeleton in their headquarters.
The skeleton will be collapsed and delivered before Christmas to Soprema’s office in Strasbourg.