There will be 1748 lots of Russian art and works of art auctioned in London this week. Bloomberg‘s John Varoli quotes William MacDougall to explain why:
London auction houses form the center of global Russian art sales. Most works are sourced from private American and European collections, while most buyers are from Russia and Ukraine. […] “Russia was a net exporter of art for about 90 years — 1910 to 2000,” said MacDougall. “There is a lot abroad, and this is now being reversed.” […]
“Ukrainian buyers have been important to us from our first auction five years ago,” MacDougall said, “typically 20-30 percent of the market, sometimes more.” In June, MacDougall’s top buyer was Alina Aivazova, wife of the mayor of Kiev.
Kelly Crow adds to the argument:
Sotheby’s says at least 38% of the buyers at its June round of London art sales were new to its Russian department. Nearly a quarter of the buyers were newcomers to the auction house altogether—a signal that Eastern Europeans may be investing more cash in hard assets like art.
Russians Are Collecting Used Czars (Wall Street Journal)