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The price of art

The new boom has made art a more secure investment than property or shares, and collectors also get the chance to make history

By Ben Lewis   October 2004

There is an enormous, unprecedented, apparently unstoppable but little-reported boom taking place in the art market. In March, at the Armory show, New York’s trendsetting contemporary art fair, dealers sold virtually twice as much as they had in 2003 – $43m of art in four days. It is the same story in the auction rooms: contemporary art values rose 20 per cent last year, and the auction houses now make more money from contemporary work than they do from artworks of the mid-20th century or earlier. There are two ways of looking at this. You may conclude that there is…

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