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    Art Becomes a Growing Market in China


    by NTDTelevision

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    China's art market is becoming one of the biggest in the world as the country's growing middle class is pouring money into art as an investment. But worries remain over the large number of counterfeits in the country's art markets.

    According to the British Art Market Federation, China has become the world's second largest art market after the US, with last year's turnover reaching $8.3 billion.

    In one of the biggest Chinese art auctions this fall, the five-day sale total reached almost $600 million.

    The most expensive item at the China Guardian Autumn Auction, selling at 30.6 million USD, was a set of scenery paintings by Chinese artist Qi Baishi. Its value has risen over thirty times from its last bid in 1994.

    [Kou Qin, Vice President, China Guardian Auction House]:
    "Although there have been discussions about the recent economic conditions, the important items were still bid at a high price."

    The recent global economic turmoil has increased Chinese consumers' appetite in art investments.

    [Kou Qin, Vice President, China Guardian Auction House]:
    "With the changes in the domestic investment environment, other channels such as real estate and stock market have recently been not that satisfactory. Thus, art becomes a new way to invest, bringing in a large amount of money, raising the prices in the market and enlarging the volume."

    But with the investment potential, also comes problems. Counterfeits abound, and in Beijing markets, many sellers tout fake antiques and paintings as the real deal.