GIACOMETTI SCULPTURE PICTURED ON BANKNOTE NETS $104 MILLION
The E-Sylum (2/7/2010)
So big spenders are cutting back? Clearly not all of them. A sculpture of a grimly determined walking man by Alberto Giacometti tonight broke records by becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it was bought for Â£65m.
The price, achieved at Sotheby's in London, was five times more than its estimate of Â£12m-18m, and beat the record set by Picasso's GarÃ§on Ã la Pipe in 2004. That sold in New York for $104,168,000. With exchange rates the way they are the Giacometti pipped it at $104,327,006.
It was a recession-defying sale with something of a circular feel to it: the only reason it was up for auction was the banking crisis. It was part of the collection of the collapsed Dresdner Bank â bought in the 1980s â and was being sold by its new owners Commerzbank which promised to give all the money to charitable foundations.
For the buyers and their representatives, the Giacometti sale was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. The sculpture is considered to be one of the most important by the 20th-century Swiss artist.
To read the complete article, see: Alberto Giacometti statue breaks auction record with Â£65m sale (www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/feb/03/