LATEST: British composer SIR Andrew Lloyd Webber's art foundation has withdrawn the valuable PABLO PICASSO painting at the centre of an ownership controversy from a New York sale. The sale yesterday (08NOV06) at Christie's auction house was temporarily halted earlier this week (06NOV06) after German JULIUS SCHOEPS maintained PORTRAIT OF ANGEL FERNANDEZ DE SOTO was his heirloom. Although his case was dismissed in court on Tuesday (07NOV06) the Lloyd Webber foundation and Christie's said Schoeps' claims meant a "cloud of doubt has been recklessly placed" on the ownership of the painting. A statement from the two organisations added, "The joint decision (to withdraw the painting) was the result of 11th-hour claims - claims that Christie's and the Foundation believe to have no merit - about title to the picture." Lawyers for Schoeps, who is from Berlin, have vowed to pursue the claim in New York state court. The painting was expected to fetch as much as $60 million (GBP33.3 million) with all proceeds going to a variety of arts charities.