Long before the YSL sale, there’s been talk in the art market of the French efforts to reform their laws and reduce red-tape and its possible effect on returning Paris to the center of the art trade. In 2007, the city of lights had 6% of the $50 billion+ global art market. What worries some is the impending crash of the pound. The banking crisis has already caused a precipitous fall in the UK currency but the worst may still lie in the future. The Times of London picks up on the story and offers these facts and opinions:
Fabien Bouglé, an art investment specialist, said that the fall of the pound would deter European collectors from selling works in Britain. “A year ago, I did not hesitate to advise my clients to sell in London,” he said. “Now the exchange rate is a big question.” [ . . . ]
Guillaume Cerutti, chairman of Sotheby’s in France, is sceptical of claims that Paris can overtake London. “I think the pendulum will swing back towards Paris a little,” he said, but added: “You don’t catch up 30 or 40 years of falling behind overnight.”
Clare McAndrew, an art economist, said that France was hampered by red tape that enables the authorities to pre-empt sales to prevent Gallic works from leaving the country. “London has worked very hard to become open and I think that’s more important than exchange-rate fluctuations,” Dr McAndrew said.
Recession Threat to London’s Place in the Art World (Times of London)