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China overtakes UK in art market

arttyIn a report published last Monday, Britain’s position as the second largest art and antiques auction market has been superseded by China. Writing for the European Fine Art Foundation, whose annual art and antiques fair will open in Maastricht this week, economist Clare McAndrew reported that auction sales in China rose to nearly 6 billion Euros which accounted for 23 % of the world market in 2010, a huge growth which hardly featured in any report 5 years ago.

The UK has fallen to 3rd place with 22%, a drop of 5% since 2006, while USA continues to lead with 34%. The Government has been warned by the British Art Market Federation that the proposed artist resale royalty tax (Droit de Suite), which is due for implementation next year, on the sale of all works by European artists who died up to 70 years ago, i.e. Bacon, Picasso including the biggest money earners, could further reduce market share by diverting trade away from the UK.

This would negatively influence the cultural economy of Britain. The report does not provide any statistics which prove that the Droit de Suite, already in effect in the UK on the works of living European artists, has had any impact on the art trade here.

Brian Adam Douglas, an American street artist, has opened his first UK exhibition at the Black Rat Press Shoreditch, East London and has enjoyed a total sell out with his return to the standard framed picture style.


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