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Jackson's rare photo set for auction

entertainment Updated: Jun 24, 2010 23:39 IST

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Michael JacksonA rare 1999 photograph, entitled 'Michael Jackson's Blue Eye', is set to go under the hammer later this year alongwith 11 other pictures of the King of Pop.

The never-before-seen picture was shot by French photographer Arno Bani in 1999 as one of the options for the cover shot of Jackson's tenth and final studio album Invincible released in 2001.

The portrait depicts Jackson, who died on June 25 last year at the age of 50, with a sad expression on his face and a blue glittery ring around his eye, Daily Mail reported.

It will be put up for auction, along with 11 other never-before-published portraits of the late singer and 50 contact boards, by Auctionneers Pierre Berge & Associes in December.

Auctioneer Frederic Chambre said bidding for each portrait is expected to start at USD 1,228.

Bani claims Jackson contacted him when he was 23 years old, after seeing his fashion photography in a newspaper. The portrait comes as the world prepares to mark the one year anniversary of Jackson's death tomorrow.

While he is believed to have died following a cardiac arrest, Jackson's death remains shrouded in mystery with his family believed to be planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the singer's doctor Conrad Murray.

Murray has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and is awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, Jackson's fans have been told to leave flowers near the singer's burial site on the anniversary of his death, but the cemetery has banned balloons, candles and doves.

Only family members and designated guests will be allowed incide the Forest Lawn cemetery where Jackson's body was laid to rest.