Tonight at Sotheby’s, Alberto Giacometti’s L’homme qui marche I sold for £65,001,250 / $104,327,006 becoming the most expensive art work ever sold at auction.
The expectant saleroom fell quiet as bidding opened at £12 million. Some eight minutes later, after a fast and furious bidding battle between at least ten prospective purchasers, this spectacular piece – the only life-time cast of this iconic subject ever to have come to auction – sold to an anonymous telephone bidder, establishing a new record price not only for the artist, and for any piece of sculpture ever sold at auction but also, and more importantly, taking its place in history as the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.
Formerly part of the corporate collection of Dresdner Bank AG, the sculpture came into the possession of Commerzbank AG after the latter’s takeover of Dresdner Bank in 2009. Commerzbank intends to use the sale proceeds to strengthen the resources of its new Foundation Centre, and also to provide funds to partner museums for restoration work and educational programmes.