[intro]Artcurial Makes Further Inroads into the Gulf States in Search of Growth[/intro]
This New York Times puff piece on Laurent Dassault, of the Dassault aircraft clan and strategist behind France’s Artcurial, reveals the company’s push into Abu Dhabi in search of art market growth and the region’s growing bet on culture as the cornerstone of the global economy:
Artcurial, the Paris-based auction house and another Dassault subsidiary, reported a 25 percent decline in sales last year, generating €93.7 million from the sale of art, design, collectible cars and thoroughbred horses. The figure placed Artcurial in third place among French auction houses for 2008, behind Sotheby’s France and Christie’s France.
Since 2006, as president of the strategic development committee of Artcurial, Mr. Dassault has been looking for new art-market opportunities. “2009 will be a difficult year for all auction houses,” he said. “But it is a good time for us to conquer terrain not already occupied by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. It is our way of promoting French art and entrepreneurship abroad.”
By the end of the year, Artcurial, which also has a presence in mainland China, plans to enter into a venture with a partner in Abu Dhabi. The emirate, which already has cultural partnerships with the Sorbonne and the Louvre Museum, would allow Artcurial to hold two sales a year there starting in 2010. […]
“What is extraordinary in Abu Dhabi is the democratic redistribution of petrodollars in the form of museums open to the public, which is in turn attracting other investors,” he said.
A Dassault Who Thinks Beyond the Blue Horizon (New York Times)