World art sales hit new record in 2014: data firm

February 26, 2015
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Works worth $15.2 billion (13.5 billion euros) sold at auction during the year, an increase of 26 percent on 2013/XINHUA-File
Works worth $15.2 billion (13.5 billion euros) sold at auction during the year, an increase of 26 percent on 2013/XINHUA-File
PARIS, France, Feb 26 – Global art sales set a fresh record in 2014 driven by acquisitions from new museums, while China maintained its place at the top of the market, data firm Artprice said Thursday.

Works worth $15.2 billion (13.5 billion euros) sold at auction during the year, an increase of 26 percent on 2013, Artprice said in its annual report, produced with China’s Artron.

A record number of 1,679 sales worth $1 million or more were recorded over the year, four times more than a decade ago, it added.

Thierry Ehrmann, founder and CEO of Artprice, described the figures as “an amazing result, an increase of 300 percent in a decade”.

He added that the boom was not being driven by speculators, with 37 percent of lots going unsold in the West and 54 percent in China.

2014 also saw 125 artworks sell for $10 million or more, not including commission, against 18 in 2005.

Greater China, grouping the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, maintained its market leader status, accounting for $5.6 billion in sales, closely followed by the United States.

However, in a sign that a slow-down in Beijing’s economy and an anti-corruption drive that has curtailed luxury spending may have taken their toll, sales in China were down five percent compared to 2013.

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