China Overtakes The UK As World's Second Largest Art Market

Vanessa Doctor Asia Editor 15 March 2011

China Overtakes The UK As World's Second Largest Art Market

China is now the second largest art market in the world, overtaking the UK which ranked third, new research by The European Fine Art Foundation shows.

The new study, The Global Art Market In 2010: Crisis And Recovery, China's share of the global art market reached 23 per cent during the year, compared to the UK's 22 per cent share. The US remains at the top with 34 per cent. Overall, the international market reported a total estimated value of $60 billion, up 52 per cent from 2009.

At the peak of the global financial crisis in 2008, total sales in the world art market dropped over 12 per cent from 2007, with sales also slipping 26 per cent, the report said. For 2011, the report predicts that Europe's already weakened art and antiques market will further face challenges, what with the proposed Droit de Suite, or art tax, likely to be implemented among members of the European Union by 2012. Under the proposal, a tax will be imposed on art by living artists, while pieces by deceased artists will carry a larger tax tag.

In the case of China and other Asian countries, however, the outlook is positive.

"Luxury spending contracted in many countries in 2009, but 2010 brought the first signs of economic recovery with a rebound in consumer confidence and with Chinese consumers driving growth in many luxury sectors," said the study.

The report is written by economist Clare McAndrew for the foundation.

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