The art world is finally waking up to a new gold mine Asian art market. Earlier this month British auction house Sotheyby's hosted its first mainland China auction in Beijing, while its competitor Christie's beat it by hosting its first auction in Shaghai in September, racking up $25 million worth of sales.India is next on the radar with Christie's coming to Mumbai on December 19. The auction will have 83 lots of South Asian paintings, including the likes of Tyeb Mehta, Amrita Sher-Gil and M. F Husain, with estimates ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 crore.In an interview with theEconomic Times, Christie's CEO Steven Murphy shared his thoughts on Asia's revenue potentials and whether he considers the internet competition.Giving credit to the company's specialists art teams and the bureaucracy-free business structure, Murphy said Christie's was capitalising on a growing art demand by expanding into emerging markets. When asked why he chose to come to India now, Murphy replied, "...we are here for the long term. So 'why now' can be met with 'we plan to be here for at least another 100 years'!"He also said he believes private sales in the country will grow, arguing that most of Christie's clients "spend half their acquisition funds outside of auctions." According to Murphy, in five years Eastern countries will rival America and Europe with regard to sales.He is open to the idea of online art sales from non-traditional auction houses like Amazon, saying the internet is a great place to increase reach and bring clients together in one place. But, he says, Christie's is still a league apart.Read the entire interview here
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