French Art Auction Gap Widens

The art market in France shrank slightly in 2004 as Drouot - the umbrella organisation for Parisian auction houses - reported turnover of 365 million euros. The gap is gradually widening between Christie's and Sotheby's and their larger French competitors, whose sales are stagnating or declining. Last year, Christie's confirmed its position as the auction house in France with the highest turnover, followed by Tajan, Sotheby's and Arcurial. Christie's and Sotheby's results do not tell the whole story, as the highest value works consigned to them in France are sent for sale elsewhere. One example is Monet's view of the Houses of Parliament which Christie's sold for 20.17 million dollars in New York last November - another is Van Gogh's Deux Crabes which sold at Sotheby's London last June for 5.1 million pounds. For the full story - click the title Irish Art