Wednesday, July 16, 2008

They may not know much about art

But, they know how to spend money on it:
Just over 40 million pounds (80 million dollars) for a Monet water lily painting, a record-smashing 15 million pounds for Italian futurist Gino Severini, four million for a Henry Moore sculpture and 5.5 million for a work by fashionable Russian modernist Natalia Goncharova were among the highlights of the recent annual impressionist and modern art auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's [in London].

Total results exceeded previous records, as buyers spent 144 million pounds at Christie's - the most-ever in a European art sale - while Sotheby's sale made 102 million pounds.

....The influx of new buyers, particularly from Russia, but also from the Gulf states and South-East Asia, is generally seen as being behind the growing strength at the top end of the market.

Bidding was dominated by hedge fund owners, Russian billionaires, Chinese industrialists, Indian technology entrepreneurs and Middle Eastern sheiks, reports said.

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