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China becomes world's 3rd largest art auction market
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China, with 23.69 billion yuan ($3.16 billion) of proceeds in 2007, has deposed France as the world's third art auction market, according to a report issued Monday by Arton, China's largest online art publishing house.

The report, based on the statistics of the world's 119 auction houses, shows that the turnover of China artwork rose by 29.10 percent on the 2006 figure, with a large number of ancient Chinese paintings, porcelain, and contemporary paintings hitting the $10 million auction price last year.

About 226 Chinese art pieces, each with a base price more than 10 million yuan, were auctioned globally in 2007, double that of the previous year, says the report.

Arton's report has been corroborated by Artprice, a US-based art auction website, in an article published last month.

"In the international rankings by sale proceeds, France, which is usually up in third place behind the United States and the United Kingdom, was deposed this year by China, thanks to the dynamism of a number of international auction houses," says the article.

The article attributes the change to "rapidly-growing national demand and artists achieving explosive price levels", saying China can now compete with New York and London when it comes to orchestrating fine art sales with million dollar proceeds.

The Artprice article disclosed that in 2007, of the 35 most expensive contemporary artists, 15 are Chinese.

The United States covered 46 percent of the world's auction turnovers, the British 27 percent, France six percent and China five percent in 2006, according to the Artprice article.

(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2008)

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