Legal Law

Corona brought a big minus to the global art market

Online sales of works of art and antiques have soared in the 2020 corona year. However, this trend could not prevent the collapse of the global art market, as the art fair Art Basel and the Swiss bank UBS reported in their annual industry report.

Worldwide, according to the previous year, 50.1 billion US dollars (41.9 billion euros) were turned over – a decrease of 22 percent compared to 2019, when galleries, trade fairs and auction houses were still open. The estimate is based, among other things, on a survey of around 2,600 millionaires from North America, Europe and Asia.

The value of online sales doubled to $ 12.4 billion, the share of this market segment rose from nine to 25 percent. Social networks played an important role in this. Around a third of collectors used Instagram for their purchases last year, the industry observers wrote. Almost all customers also visited virtual online showrooms. According to the survey, however, most still prefer a personal gallery visit.

The USA was able to maintain its top position as the largest art market in the world in 2020, well ahead of Great Britain and the Chinese region with China and Hong Kong or Taiwan. In public auctions, however, this Asian region overtook the USA last year with a market share of 36 percent.

The corona crisis has probably not dampened the desire for pictures, sculptures and installations in the long term. Two-thirds of respondents said their interest in collecting increased during the pandemic. More than half are planning further purchases this year.

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