Some of the main French auction houses are trying to catch up with their competitors in the foreign market.
The acquisition of Parket-Benet by Sotheby’s in 1964 signed a turning point for the French art market. While the major British auction houses, Sotheby’s and its main competitor, Christie’s, were making profitable deals abroad, French auctioneers were still bound to sell in the "Hexagon". However, some French auctioneers are going to venture into new markets. Piasa will be the first to take this direction. On the 26th of June, Piasa will organize its first auction abroad in Brussels, at La Patinoire royale.
The decision of French auction houses to opt for foreign markets is also based on the fact that they depend more and more on international buyers and sellers.
Indeed, 70% of Piasa’s buyers are foreigners. At Artcurial the percentage of lots coming from Europe amounts to 15%. Martin Guesnet, director of Artcurial Europe, explains that it is difficult to expand on all fronts since some countries are reticent to welcome new markets: an example for France is Germany.
In the German market, in fact, Sotheby’s and Christie’s have already been present for many years. The attempts to internationalize are often first made at the borders of France. The countries in which the French market can easily develop are Belgium, Switzerland, and Monaco. Alexandre Millon, first auctioneer at Millon Paris, reports that 15% of his buyers come from Belgium, which is enormous if compared to the scale of buyers of the country.
All these data are destined to grow but for more information read all the article by Roxana Azimi for Le Monde Economie.