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Traditional art fetching good prices in recession

Reuters – Traditional works of fine art are fetching good prices despite the recession as buyers seek security and quality, industry insiders said this week at the Art Basel show.

Film star Brad Pitt grabbed the headlines by splashing out $1 million on a painting by German artist Neo Rauch at the show, the world’s largest, which is celebrating its 40th year.

"The sudden change of the market in October affects not so much the prices but the overall volume of what is being offered," said Simon de Pury, chairman of auction house Phillips de Pury & Company.

"The catalogues are getting thinner but the prices are not necessarily getting lower. Indeed, some have held up very, very well," said de Pury, a leading art world figure known for his ability to whip up excitement in the sales room.

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