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London auction tests art market recovery

London auction tests art market recovery
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Art collectors and buyers are gathering at Christie’s in London for the Post War and Contemporary Art Auctions. For many, the one to watch is British artist Damien Hirst’s latest work, made from real butterflies. It is expected to fetch 3-4,000,000 euros.

The auction will be used to measure whether the art market is continuing to recover from a financial slump last year.

Frances Outred, from Christie’s, says things have picked up: “It was actually in October last year, when we had 100% sold, that we saw the first signs of regrowth in the market. The overall value was double the original low estimate.”

Prices for art soared in the three years before the world financial crisis in 2008. The market then shrank to less than a quarter of its value.

Figures from Japanese artist Takashi Murakami are expected to be sold for nearly 700,000 euros. A saucepan shoe sculpture could go for around 200,000 euros.

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