October 18, 2019 / 6:54 PM / a month ago

Paris art market reaps benefits of Brexit uncertainty

PARIS (Reuters) - The Paris art scene believes it is winning from Brexit uncertainty, as more galleries are being opened in the French capital, currently hosting the giant FIAC art fair.

Art galleries fear that moving artworks between Britain and mainland Europe is likely to become more difficult and expensive as a result of Brexit, which could favour Paris.

FIAC, which follows this week’s Frieze fair in London, is one of Europe’s biggest contemporary art marketplaces, showcasing a vast display of works in picturesque locations around the Tuileries Gardens and the Grand Palais.

“We’ve been doing FIAC for many years, we have a lot of French clients, and the moment was right,” James Green, director of David Zwirner Gallery in London, said about the opening of a new gallery in the hip Marais district this month.

“So also, with what is happening in the UK, having a European outpost is important to the gallery as well.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson has vowed Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31, whether or not parliament votes for the deal he has just clinched in Brussels.

While gallerists acknowledge that London will remain the top art market in Europe, due to its diversity and attractiveness to artists and investors, Paris has carved out its share of global sales, and the 2018 edition of FIAC saw a Philip Guston painting, “Martyr”, sold for $6 million.

Reporting by Michaela Cabrera; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Giles Elgood

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