It began with Koons buying a Courbet. Then Hirst had to have a Bacon self-portrait. Now we find out that Richard Prince really, really likes Duchamp. Or, at least, that’s what Georgina Adam says in the Financial Times:
Did American artist Richard Prince buy Marcel Duchamp’s scent bottle, the 1921 “Belle Haleine – Eau de Voilette”? Well-placed museum sources in Paris claim he is the happy new owner of the tiny but iconic piece, which sold at the Yves Saint Laurent sale in Paris last February for a truly stratospheric €8.9m (the estimate was €1m-€1.5m). France’s Pompidou Centre wanted to buy it but was out-gunned by other bidders and it was hammered down to art dealer Philippe Ségalot. At the time, Ségalot said it was “for a US client” but, speaking in Venice at the opening of François Pinault’s new Punta della Dogana gallery, he denied that his client was Prince. Asked directly at the opening of the Louis Vuitton exhibition in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Prince refused to confirm that he had bought it but equally refused to deny it.
The Art Market: Bouyant Basel Contrasts with Russian Reluctance (Financial Times)