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"This is only the second time a Tintin plate has exceeded a million euros," Eric Leroy, comic book expert at French auction house Artcurial, told AFP. Artcurial had estimated Saturday's lot would fetch between 600,000 and 800,000 euros, before fees. "Herge's universe still conquers," added Leroy, referring to the cartoonist behind the famous comic.
The black-tie event -- at which the president, followed by a bona fide comedian, regale journalists and their celebrity guests with insider jokes about government and the media -- is an annual inside-the-beltway ritual. Obama poked fun at himself, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and reporters. On a serious note he praised Washington Post former Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian, released in January after 18 months in an Iranian prison.