Photo: China Guardian
There are now art collectors in China who will pay more for the work of a Chinese artist than a Picasso. China’s wealthiest have taken an interest in the art of their ancestors, reports Katie Hunt for the BBC. And that interest has allowed China’s auction houses to compete with the world’s top art auctioneers, namely Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Auction houses Beijing Poly and China Guardian, both relatively new on the scene, have in the past five years profited immensely, and according to French auction body Conseil des Ventes, half of the world’s top 20, and five of the top 10 houses are now Chinese, Hunt reports.
China Guardian, the world’s fourth largest auction house and the second largest in China, made $606 million in last autumn’s Beijing auction, next to Sotheby’s $412 million and Christie’s $367 million in autumn auctions in Hong Kong.
Hunt reports that despite the surge, China’s figures may be inflated and fake paintings have been sold due to a lack of regulations in the country’s nascent art market.
Christie’s Asia president, Francois Curiel, told Hunt that he is confident the auction house will be able to compete with China in the long run, having forged a new licensing agreement with a Chinese auction house.
As usual, it remains to be seen.
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