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Watch: Art Basel opens with Picasso painting on sale for €28 million

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By Euronews  with AP
Pablo Picasso's Woman with Dog is on sale for €28 million
Pablo Picasso's Woman with Dog is on sale for €28 million   -   Copyright  AP

Art Basel, the world's premier art fair where the super-rich shop for Picassos, has opened in the Swiss city.

This year, Picasso's Woman with Dog is on offer for €28 million, while Miró's Le Vol d'Oiseau is priced at €22m.

While stock markets have slowed globally, the ultra-high end of the art market has grown to €59 billion.

Clare McAndrew, an art market economist who writes the annual Art Basel global market report, said: "We have seen two years of consistent growth and it grew last year by about 6 per cent, so it has reached about $67 billion [€59 billion], so you can see by size alone that it does spark the interest of the kind of mainstream investment community."

Financial worries do not tend to affect the ultra-high end of the art market, says New York-based art advisor Todd Levin.

He said: "The truth is if you are worth a billion-plus dollars today, and the market corrects by 30%, then you are worth three-quarters of a billion dollars tomorrow. It is not really going to stymie you too much from going ahead and purchasing works if you so choose to."

Some 44% of all art sales in 2018 were made in the US, with the UK second on 21% and China on 19%.

Art Basel opened to invited guests and the press on June 11. The show opens to the public on June 13 and runs through June 16.

Video editor • Alexis Caraco