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News: Art
"Christ mocked" by Italian artist Cimabue auctioned by the house of Turquin (photo: AFP).
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by Archaeology Newsroom

France: Record number of art works sold at auction

Despite a decline in turnover

The number of works of art sold at auctions in 2019 achieved at an all-time high, though the market fell an overall 14%, with Paris regaining its leadership. This can be seen in Artprice’s annual report.

550,000 objects and art works (paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, engravings, installations), compare with 539,000 in 2018, were sold at auctions in 2019 for a total of $ 13.3 billion. It is the largest circulation of works ever recorded at auction venues, as highlighted by Artprice, which is a world leader in information on the art market.

However, in terms of total turnover, the market fell by 14% compared to $ 15.5 billion in 2018.

The general price index remained stable (+ 0.48%), as did the number of unsold works (38%), adds Artprice. This indicator is the market’s most sensitive barometer, allowing it also to be ascertained whether it has entered a speculative orbit (under 20% of unsold works) or a free fall (over 60%).

The most interesting fact is that in 2019 France achieved the best results, recovering its leadership, with a turnover of $ 827 million (+ 18%), well ahead of the other European countries ($ 268 million in Germany, $207 million in Italy and $110 million in Switzerland). Regarding all art works, France is in second place with 82,016 works, behind only the USA (99,000 works).

France can also boast of owning Artcurial, the top sales house in Europe, ranking 11th in the world with very significant sales being recorded in the country, such as Cimabue’s “Christ mocked” at €24 million.

The USA with a turnover of $ 4.6 billion surpassed China ($ 4.1 billion) and Britain ($ 2.2 billion). However, all three of these superpowers in the art market, which account for 82% of global sales, are also seeing significant declines in their turnover; China, the USA and Britain by 9%, 22% and 21% respectively.